Great Lives from History is a multivolume series detailing the biographies of important people throughout history, worldwide. It is universally well-regarded for its breadth of content and extended essays. The series' content bridges the gap between full-length, scholarly biographies and the shortened forms found in encyclopedias. The geographic and occupational scope of the individuals covered in "The Seventeenth Century" is broad: the individuals covered are identified with one or more of the following areas - Africa, the American Colonies, Austria, Belgium, Bohemia, Canada, China, Denmark, England, France, Germany, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Native America, the Netherlands, the Ottoman Empire, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Scotland, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. The editors provide coverage that is broad in areas of achievement, as well as geography, and at the same time include the recognized shapers of history essential in any liberal arts curriculum.
Major world leaders appear here - emperors, conquerors, kings, queens and khans - as do giants of religious faith who were central to the century, such as popes and theologians who left their imprint on political as well as spiritual institutions. The set also includes figures who have received little or no attention in the past - from Queen Njinga of Angola to the Ottoman scholar Katib Celebi. By category, the contents include figures who contributed to one or more of the following areas: architecture, art, business and economics, diplomacy, education, exploration, government and politics, law, literature, medicine, military and war, music, philosophy, religion, science, medicine, mathematics, society and theater. Among these architects of civilization are 58 women, including writers, artists, scholars, scientists and national leaders. Basic information is offered, beginning with the subject's name as best known to Westerners (and other versions, including full names, given names, alternative spellings and common epithets). Nationality, ethnicity, occupation and historical role are included.
Birth and death dates, reign dates and a summary paragraph highlight the individual's historical importance round out the introduction. The body of each essay is divided into four elements: "Early Life" covers upbringing and environment. "Life's Work" is the heart of the piece and is a straightforward account of the period during which the person's most significant achievements were made. The significance of the person is examined and, finally, further reading is suggested in an annotated, descriptive bibliography. "The Seventeenth Century" is the fourth installment in the revised and expanded "Great Lives" series. "Great Lives'" content now covers a wider geographical area, and includes more women than earlier biographical collections from Salem. In "The Seventeenth Century", more than 190 new essays have been added, including more than 50 women, and there are a total of more than 340 essays covering 350 historical figures.show more