The Image of Lithuania in English Publications in the 17th Century

in Lithuanian Historical Studies
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In the 17th century, as contacts between citizens of England, which was gaining increasing importance in Europe, and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania (GDL) intensified, the phenomenon of the image of Lithuania in English and Scottish societies, as well as the level of their knowledge about the GDL, became more important. The issue of mentioning Lithuania in West European historical sources and the related issue of the image of Lithuania in the region in the 16th–17th centuries has already been analysed in Lithuania, albeit not thoroughly enough. However, the question of the image of Lithuania in English publications in the 17th–18th centuries still requires more detailed analysis. This article discusses Lithuania-related facts that could have been familiar not only to the narrow circle of people that were in close contact with the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, but also to wider well-read English and Scottish society. The few educated members of English society who had an interest in learning more about Lithuania had access to publications in various languages published in different countries. However, this article dwells almost exclusively on publications in the English language dating from the 17th century that facilitated the rendering of knowledge and opinions about Lithuania to a much wider circle of people who read in the English language.

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