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The Italian London of John North: Cultural Contact and Linguistic Encounter in Early Modern England

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  20 November 2018

John Gallagher*
Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge


This article takes as its subject the remarkable diary kept by a young English gentleman named John North from 1575 to 1579. On his journey home from Italy in 1575–77, North changed the language of his diary from English to Italian. On his return to London, he continued to keep a record of his everyday life in Italian. This article uses North’s diary as a starting point from which to reconstruct the social and sensory worlds of a returned traveler and Italianate gentleman. In doing so, it offers a way of bridging the gap between individual experiences and personal networks on the one hand, and the wider processes of cultural encounter and linguistic contact on the other.

Research Article
Copyright © 2017 Renaissance Society of America

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