Luca Baratta, The Age of Monsters. Nascite prodigiose nell’Inghilterra della prima età moderna: storia, testi, immagini (1550-1715), prefazione di Maurizio Ascari, Roma, Aracne, 2017, pp. 876

Maria Teresa Chialant


Luca Baratta’s book consists of a catalogue of forty-eight full-length documents – street literature, such as broadside ballads, pamphlets and leaflets, as well as medical writings drawn from Philosophical Transactions – that all deal with the phenomenon of monstrous births in early modern England. The volume is divided in four parts: “God’s judgment (1550-1603)”, “The Great Amazement (1603-1642)”, “The Monsters’ Wars (1642-1660)”, and “The Age of Wonders, the Age of Science (1660-1715)”. In each section, the documents are distributed according to a chronological order, with the aim to show the metamorphoses that the perceptions and representations of monsters have gone through in the course of time: from prodigies with religious implications to objects of curiosity and scientific enquiry.


cultural contexts; early modern England; marvelous births; monsters; street literature

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