The historiography of the Italian Renaissance has been much studied, but generally in the context of a few key figures.
Much less appreciated is the extent of the enthusiasm for the subject in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when the subject was 'discovered' by travellers and men and women of letters, historians, artists, architects and photographers, and by collectors on both sides of the Atlantic.
The essays in Victorian and Edwardian Responses to the Italian Renaissance explore the breadth of the responses stimulated by the encounter between the British, the Americans and the Italians of the Renaissance. The volume approaches the subject from an interdisciplinary perspective.
While recognising the abiding importance of the familiar 'great names', it seeks to draw attention to a wider cast of people, many of whom led colourful, energetic lives, knew Italy well, and wrote eloquently about the country and its Renaissance.
Several essays show that 'Renaissance studies' became a field in which female historians could explore areas of relevance to the 'New Woman'.
Other chapters examine the aims and politics of collecting and the place of the collector in literature and in the rediscovery of Renaissance artists.
The contribution of teachers and other less formal champions of the Italian Renaissance is explored, as is the role of photographers who re-framed and re-viewed Florence - the Renaissance city - for Victorian and later eyes.