John Paige, Salad Bowls and Wine Bottles: Reviewing Cosmopolitanism in Early Modern England

Thomas Rusbridge, Department of History


The terms ‘cosmopolitan’ and ‘cosmopolitanism’ are used frequently in early modern histories of trade and consumption, but this choice is not often explained. This piece shall place a discussion of meanings of and approaches to cosmopolitanism alongside one such case study – that of John Paige – to consider how cosmopolitanism can be a useful tool for historians, and not simply a vague term to allude to openness to the amorphous ‘other’. The first section will comprise a review of literature around the field of cosmopolitanism and the debated meanings of the term, and the second an examination of the correspondence of John Paige, a London merchant, to demonstrate ways in which the actions of this historical individual can be assessed under the prism of cosmopolitanism. The purpose of this case study shall not be to provide a test-case of any particular definition of ‘cosmopolitanism’, but to identify points in which historical behaviours intersect with current definitions of the term and explore opportunities to expand historical opportunities. This article concludes by arguing for the relevance of modern cosmopolitan thinking to historical studies of trade, society, culture and exchange, and suggests that this term has palpability to be turned to historical ends; opening a window for mutual terrain between historians, sociologists, anthropologists and scholars of more ranging cultural studies. Bristling behind a contentious interregnum London, merchants such as John Paige worked to continue to provide the city’s populace and manufacturers with the products and materials needed to sustain the style and extent of consumption to which the city had become accustomed. John Paige’s correspondence, dating between 1648 and 1658, provides a window to the period and is a ready opportunity to demonstrate the advantages offered to the historian by adopting cosmopolitanism as an analytical approach. These letters have been transcribed by the London Record Society in great detail, providing a cohesive set of sources documenting the behaviour of this merchant. Paige was born into a Devon mercantile family in 1627 and entered the trading landscape as an apprentice to Gowen Paynter in 1642, becoming a full London resident in 1648, by which stage he had carved out an occupation as a wine wholesaler.[2] Just three years later, in 1651, Paige owned his own home, most likely in the St. Helen’s Parish of London, an area littered with icons of London’s trading landscape; the Exchange, Custom House, Merchant Taylors, the Insurance Office and, indeed, the Ship Tavern. Paige had become thoroughly immersed into the bustling London trading scene. Keen to build patronage networks, Paige held, in addition to his primary contacts in the Canaries, correspondents in Aust, Middelburg, Antwerp, Nantes, Le Havre, Rouen, Lisbon, Bilbao, Cadiz and San Lucar. In the composition of his correspondence network at least, Paige engaged with mercantile Europe in a very cosmopolitan way. Although his primary interest was in the import of Canary wines to London, Paige’s product base extended from wines and grew to include hides, dyestuffs and tobacco in increasing scale throughout the scope of these letters. After a career facing turbulence at times of both civil and European war, causing Paige to modify his trading practices in the latter 1650s, Paige died in 1689, age 62, leaving a wife and one son.

It was the period after 1660, however, when George Steckley argues that Paige’s career took a distinctly political course. In 1663, he was elected to the Committee of the East India Trading Company, a position he would hold for 23 years. Between 1668 and 1672 he served on the Council of Trade and in 1687 acted as the First Warden of the Merchant Taylor’s Company. By the end of his career he was dealing in a company stock in excess of £12,000 and was an early director of the Bank of England. In summing up the man, Steckley concludes there was nothing to suggest Paige was a ‘revolutionary’ new merchant; he was conservative in his politics, uncontroversial in his religion and expansionist in his commercial programmes. Despite this somewhat temperate depiction, it is nonetheless clear that Paige was a very impressive individual; he commanded a huge network of correspondents and an equally substantial trading profile both in terms of the quantity and range of products. In so doing, his letters answer many of the questions posed by modern cosmopolitan thinking – as will be discussed below – and provide a useful dataset to historians as a single case study which straddles the responsibilities of a merchant both to his correspondents at home and overseas, concerning the movement of individuals and materials alike and his own personal character set against his professional identity.

The Word Itself: Definitions and Concepts in Cosmopolitanism

In Conceiving Cosmopolitanism: Theory, Context and Practice Steven Vertovec and Robin Cohen identify a number of variants of cosmopolitanism. Of these, three display the necessary adaptability to be extracted from the 21st century and turned to a range of historical periods.[3] First, cosmopolitanism can be viewed as a socio-cultural concept manifested in the increased consumption of foreign products. John Urry terms this consumption of ‘exotic’ goods ‘aesthetic cosmopolitanism’, and as Grant McCracken has argued – inspired by Thorstein Veblen’s classical theory which suggests consumption was a means of displaying economic power – consumption of particular goods was a way in which individuals could sculpt and advance their identity: ‘conspicuous consumption’. [4]

Vertovec and Cohen’s second conceptualization posits cosmopolitanism as a more personal philosophy or world-view whereby individuals adopt the role of ‘citizens of the world’, ‘global citizens’ or cosmopolites. A term coined in the sixteenth century, ‘cosmopolite’ is used to understand a certain amount of ‘cosmopolitan-self-fashioning’, but relates more significantly to how early modern travellers conceived of their place in the world. Young travellers embarking on ‘grand tours’, documented through the ars apodemica, were not inhibited by labels of nationhood. This conceptualization can be seen clearly through the migrant student population of Padua between the sixteenth and eighteenth centuries who are the subject of Stefano Zaggia’s account.[5] Here, early modern students studying in foreign cities occupied a position in which they both maintained a distinctive national identity – which was reinforced by such political factors as their living arrangements and rights – whilst also engaging in the social and cultural practices of their newly adopted homes. Within the same concept, Vertovec and Cohen also advance cosmopolitanism as a practice or competence, concerned with the importation of skills which promoted such openness and adaptability. As demonstrated by the example of the merchant’s apprentice below, the overlap of cultures especially when encapsulated in a single individual resulted in new skills which characterised cosmopolitanism and facilitated further cosmopolitan behaviour. In the case of John Paige, this behaviour fits a historical definition, but it unclear whether he would actively see his behaviour in terms of this concept. Cosmopolitanism necessitated transnational practice, and in so doing made possible the subversion of national structures, cultures and identities.

Thirdly, and finally, Vertovec and Cohen’s ideas extend cosmopolitanism to communitarian multiculturalism. The human, material, and ideological presence of the ‘other’ in local communities engendered a ‘salad bowl’ character, facilitating further exchange.[6] This multiculturalism was not the confluence of cultures, rather the coexistence of multiple cultural identities in a shared space. The intermingling of different cultures has often been equated with increasing degrees of openness and shared practice, such as in the case study of students provided by Zaggia, but this approach can be accused of being a rather ‘rosy’ vision. The mobility of objects was not necessarily reciprocated in an accepting attitude of their destinations, and histories of the persecution of migrating minorities raise the question of whether cosmopolitanism can function within this ‘dark side’. Ultimately Vertovec and Cohen’s communitarian multiculturalism was not universal, and to approach the interaction of cultures under a positive lens is perhaps too present-centred, but to use the term as an analytical approach even such ‘dark’ stories necessitate adaptability in the actants of exchange and create newness of a very different variety. Arjun Appadurai’s lecture The Cosmopolitanism of the Urban Poor: An Example from Mumbai, India provides an illustration of how cosmopolitanism can function in these situations.[7]  In the slums surrounding Mumbai, Appadurai states, it is necessary for the inhabitants to be fluent in a number of languages. This is a fundamentally cosmopolitan asset, but one acquired in order to survive, and born of a position of social and economic disadvantage. Appadurai terms this ‘compulsory cosmopolitanism’.

Garrett Wallace Brown and David Held’s The Cosmopolitanism Reader approaches this term from a number of perspectives, and three pieces shall be selected here which explore the overlapping meanings of cosmopolitanism which will shape a historical application.[8] David Miller’s introductory essay draws a distinction between cosmopolitanism as a political phenomenon on the one hand and a cultural idea on the other which can characterise the rest of the volume and Jeremy Waldron argues for an innate cosmopolitanism in all modern societies. Waldron argues that humans are by their very nature adventurous beings and all cultures hold innate fragments of many different cultures. All citizens are, in effect, citizens of the world.[9] Waldron also draws a dichotomy between internalised cosmopolitan and the outward display of multiculturalism: shared norms across different cultures require that local behaviours have a cosmopolitan dimension. Thus, cosmopolitanism stems from the very genuine participation in the norms of one’s society. This does not detract from the peculiarities of societies, as individuals engage in the norms of their society in a very real way and are emotionally and materially invested in communities.[10] Finally, Ulrich Beck’s ‘Cosmopolitan Manifesto’ places cosmopolitanism within the narrative of a transition from ‘first’ to ‘second’ modernity. ‘First modernity’ was characterized by nation-state models and territorial social relations, networks and communities, while ‘second modernity’ was – or is – characterised by interlinked processes which undermined the first, such as globalization, revised gender roles and global risks.[11] Beck uses this ‘second modernity’ to suggest a new framework of ‘sameness’ which will enable scholars to move away from more traditional teleological perspectives placing eastern as an antithesis to western societies, lacking in modernity. The result of this is a ‘pluralization of modernities’,[12] the increasing speed, intensity and significance of processes of transnational interdependence and growth in the discourses of economic, cultural, political and societal ‘globalization’.[13]

This brief survey suggests that the key characteristics of cosmopolitanism were firstly the movement of people, things and ideas, secondly the assimilation of the ‘other’ in communities and thirdly the position occupied by agents within this network of exchange which straddled the global and the local. A cosmopolitan approach – one which assesses seemingly isolated actions under the three points above – can therefore bring traditional areas of study into a new intellectual terrain and highlight the poignancy of plural identities to daily practice.

The Letters of a Merchant

The letters of John Paige capture cosmopolitan behaviour under the prisms of material and commodity exchange, shared information and friendship and the movement of individuals. One way in which the broader cosmopolitanism of early modern Europe was expressed was through Paige’s cross-cultural mobilization of products. In being exchanged, these products achieved a twofold significance. First, such products created cosmopolitan behaviours through their consumption in strange environments, aforementioned, and secondly, these products achieved a cosmopolitan character in themselves through being agents in the process of exchange. The presence of a foreign product in a localised sphere symbolised the breaching of that ‘local’ sphere by the ‘other’. This created commercial cosmopolitanism through an increasingly diversified marketplace. What a cosmopolitan understanding offers as an approach more so than traditional cultural transfer or exchange is the ability to combine the conditions of the localised sphere with its reception of the product in a unified framework of historical understanding. Cultural transfer and exchange typically rest on the three tenets: introduction, transmission, and reception. But these models do not give enough weight to the dynamism and social life of a moveable type, rendering its role within exchange somewhat passive. As Arjun Appadurai’s The Social Life of Things argues,[14] products were not static entities and underwent processes of change in terms of their function and relationships with humans. Viewing exchange in a bilateral way creates an impression of the product as a token in exchange, rather than that which it should be conceived as: an active member. Cosmopolitanism, by considering the broader picture and resting on the malleability of identities allows this understanding of products to take hold. These products were integrated, rather than simply received.

Paige’s letters demonstrate how the movement of products contributed towards a cosmopolitan stance. A process of assimilation between the categories of product, place and person generated new patterns of consumption which can be described as cosmopolitan. Paige’s primary import, Garachico wine, emblematised this cosmopolitanism to the greatest extent. The assimilation of an exotic product in London created a new pattern of consumption and a corresponding market which continued to make this import fruitful. Its increasing import throughout the period of the letterbook demonstrates this was a successful endeavour, as Paige continued to import this product and increased not only the quantities he was importing, but the price for which the import was sold. In a letter of March 22nd, 1650 Paige declares to William Clerke his intention to sell wine at £22 per pipe, while in a letter of November 8th, 1654 to the same correspondent Paige envisages a sale price of £28 per pipe. In 1644 Paige had the capacity to import 2,700 tons, but by 1649 had more than doubled this capacity to 6,400 tons. A number of other international products of commercial significance feature in the correspondence of Paige, including cochineal in a letter of March 1650, hides from Lisbon featuring in letters from September 1650 onwards, Campeachy wood from December 1651 and sugar from Palma from March 1652. This was not only commercial cosmopolitanism at work; the embrace of a new, foreign product, but was cosmopolitan in the attitudes it engendered in London’s consumers. The engagement with foreign products created ‘material’ citizens of the world, who could engage with the ‘other’ without leaving their locale, or even the home. This ‘newness’ was a trademark of cosmopolitanism, and a further quality which takes this concept beyond cultural exchange. The social behaviour surrounding the drinking of ‘exotic’ wines resulted from cosmopolitanism and created an ‘openness’ which made the embrace of further new products a realistic possibility. An open consumer culture was therefore an outcome of product exchange which rested on both aesthetic cosmopolitanism and a dynamic product identity.

Paige also captured a cosmopolitan stance through the culture of information sharing. The exchange of information across boundaries through channels of mutual mercantile occupational identity and shared commercial interest was necessary in order to sustain trade; the physically disparate nature of mercantile transfer points necessitated correspondence and facilitated the spread of information. The mobility of products contributed towards the exchange of ideas as the selling habits of particular products was discussed on a transnational level. Evidence of this specific type of information exchange is clearly exhibited in a letter from Paige of May 28th, 1649 detailing the market value of wines. Paige lists a number of colleagues, Mr Slaney, Mr John, Mr Wilson and Mr Bradgate, giving an indication of their wine sales. Similar patterns are found in correspondence of November 8th, 1649, March 22nd, 1650, December 6th, 1650 and June 2nd, 1651. Francesca Trivellato notes the function this established network started to perform as a means to circulate economic information,[15] and Mario Infelise states ‘[…] information was above all a mercantile asset.’[16] Most commonly, merchant’s letters included price lists for commodities in their place of writing as well as conversion rates for currencies and weights and measures. If one looks towards Paige’s letter book, lists of products and commodities with accompanying prices, such as wines and hides, feature regularly. In terms of currency, Paige’s letters of May 12th, 1652 and April 25th, 1654 between them detail currency exchanges between England, France, Peru, Portugal and Spain. A further letter of May 31st, 1655 demonstrates Paige delivering a report on market conditions: ‘I have likewise news of […] Dublin where there’s no market for his wines’.

Merchant’s networks spread knowledge about products and foreign markets and in so doing produced an occupationally defined, coherent European collective. The transnational merchant community was a cosmopolitan being in which market information was a currency that shaped how merchants operated within local national communities, which enabled merchants to function within the virtual tier of the di-layered community. Accumulated through correspondence itself, information was a form of capital to be deployed in this unique transnational space. The nature of information sharing reinforced the cosmopolitan identity of merchants. In so doing, the activities of the merchant dissolved the boundaries between national communities, therefore enabling the cosmopolite to take root.

Furthermore, through correspondence merchants in different European cities did not simply exchange information or facilitate the movement of products. Indeed, through sustained correspondence over a longer time period, merchants at each end of the communications trail invested in bonds of friendship. This much can be evidenced by the often affectionate language exhibited between merchants and the form of the letters too substantiates this point; in their very structure these letters were crafted and personal, and afford the recipient a glimpse into Paige’s personal affairs, sensibilities and vulnerabilities. In a letter of July 6th, 1651 Paige expresses his admiration of Thomas Hawley, and on November 28th writing of George Clerke he claims he ‘[…] shall kiss his hands in giving him a visit’. In February 1650, Paige expresses his faith in Mr Webber and the promises he had made to Mr Brampton, while in February 1651 he claims, ‘short accounts make long friends’ and in January 1654 expresses his personal disappointment in not having received a reply from Clerke, stating ‘[I] as yet have not had the happiness to receive a line from you’. Equally personal was another salient feature of mercantile correspondence, the role of honour, credit and reputation.  Merchants were trading in more than simply product. Trivellato notes trust and reputation were fragile commodities and Sebouh Aslanian concurs merchants would accordingly behave with good probity for fear of being ‘blacklisted’.[17] Paige demonstrates this in a letter of July 1651 to Clerke, describing Mr Baker as no friend to Clerke and operating with a great deal of ‘self-ended treachery’. In a letter of May 1st, 1650 Paige demonstrates a discursive side to this, stating ‘I hope [Mr Webber] will prove honest’. These letters suggest that merchants had a public status upon which their livelihoods were built within the virtual network of letters as well as in local communities, reinforcing Waldron’s cosmopolitan notion of a separation between the local and the global.

This information and ideological exchange can be better understood through a cosmopolitan approach therefore by considering the mutual terminology – a language – created in order for merchants from disparate centres to communicate. This language was in part constituted of the subject matter merchants were expected to be versed in: currencies, markets, and goods. Another key component though was the language of credit. This transnational trading network contained both contacts and friends in its respective correspondents and therefore shows range in the relationships cosmopolitanism can entail. This information exchange was also cosmopolitan as it had a ‘globalising’ character; market information did not have a national bias. The very terminology governing discussions was international and it is clear that this element of exchange was of globalising significance. Membership of the transnational network was also not barred by national identity; it was a cosmopolitan network as much in its structure as its membership. Occupational identity was the buy-in. A critic of this approach may be inclined to point out that those merchants communicating with Paige from disparate centres were often not native to that transfer point themselves, but were British merchants placed overseas. While this is a valid point, it must be stressed that those merchants nevertheless represented the link between their respective local sphere and the virtual network. As representatives of their space in the transnational landscape, these merchants in strange places are arguably more deserving of cosmopolitan attention, positioned between Britishness, the transnational landscape and the place they now called home.

Paige’s letters also captured the movement of people, specifically the merchant’s apprentice, across boundaries. In cultural exchange, these movements are often presented as the transgression of distinct national spheres, however, the role of a mercantile apprentice required working overseas with other merchants and apprentices were agents of their respective national communities; English merchants in the Canaries. The net result of cultural exchange through individualistic movement was perhaps the importation of skills and knowledge from a foreign community, as local merchants travelled and built up ‘accumulated attributes’. The movement of apprentices meant the spread of skills, and this can be substantiated by considering the diffusion of the ‘ars mercataria’: the increasing penmanship and letter-writing as dictated by guides such as those of Savary and Bourlier.[18] Cosmopolitanism as a competency and an approach is more effective in considering population movements, allowing the concept of a ‘citizen of the world’ to take root, and offering the historian a tool to identify the meaning and developments of new skills in merchant’s apprentices. This much can be seen through Paige’s letters. Paige, Paynter and Clerke had very international identities, embracing, among other qualities, foreign tongues in a very open way. Paige for instance sent Thomas Leigh to work with William Clerke in Tenerife in May 1652. This exchange of apprentices demonstrates how it was possible for cosmopolitanism to be manifested through skills. Lingual and literacy skills were enviable; Leigh for example wrote ‘a pretty school hand and both Italian and Spanish hands’, while another, unnamed, apprentice sent to Clerke by Paige in March 1650 wrote, read and spoke French. Paige stated ‘The youth is[…] very fit of your turn or else I should not wish him to you[…] His parents have bestowed good breeding on him… I am persuaded you will like him very well’. The impact of Paige’s letters here therefore was in governing the movement of apprentices in such a way as to create ‘cosmopolites’ or ‘citizens of the world’.

Understanding Paige’s stance as cosmopolitan in turn illuminates mercantile hybridity: two tiered identities between the local and global. Further evidence from Paige’s letters indeed shows how English merchants across the continent could still act as citizens of the world while constrained physically within local communities. In a letter of February 16th, 1650 Paige expresses regrets that the letter’s recipients, William Clerke and Gowen Paynter, have been imprisoned for the import of French linen, a contraband product. Equally, in a letter of May 8th, 1650, Paige comments that a number of English ships have been embargoed at Rouen and that a number of ships had similarly fallen foul of French action. Paige notes that although business in Madrid may ‘…be better composed’, he ‘shall not go to Rochelle at all’. Later that same year in September Paige discourages Clerke from sending Mr Presman to Lisbon with hides, as open war with Portugal would make business ‘thinner’ for merchants, while in a letter of February 3rd, 1655 Paige again comments on the localised political circumstances, discouraging trade with Spain, with whom he feels England ‘is likely to quarrel with speedily’. These examples demonstrate that although the immediate activities of merchants were defined within localised communities and subject to the political constraints that these surroundings presented at any given time, membership of the international network of merchants often presented survival strategies. Paige was able to synthesise his contacts and knowledge in order to formulate strategies which would enable fruitful trade to continue in alternate avenues when doors became closed.

The mobility of things, ideas and people is encapsulated effectively by mercantile correspondence, which represents a unique viewing platform for these areas of exchange; in no other instance is the movement of people, things and ideas so seamlessly unified. The exchange of such ‘moveable types’ – products, people and ideas – across political boundaries, was not a simple linear movement of such types from one transfer point to the next. Rather, this was a process in which such entities had to navigate a network of correspondents operating from interpenetrated transfer points to reach their destination, and subsequently assimilate within a new social, cultural and political environment. This process of navigation and assimilation resulted in the creation of ‘newness’, but the higher implication of this process of assimilation is that identities of users and products were malleable. It is advantageous to engage in a more sophisticated way with cosmopolitanism, which treats the objects of exchange in a very dynamic way and ascribes significance to the social context of their destination.


Cosmopolitanism, therefore, can be applied readily to historical discussion not simply as a term but an approach built upon a sophisticated framework. What cosmopolitanism does effectively is to synthesise the benefits of multiple approaches. First, cosmopolitanism entails a necessary alternation of scale while using the same categories of analysis. Ideas of hybridity, newness, plurality, multiculturalism, and openness are key elements of cosmopolitanism, and categories which function at both a micro and macro level. Both the higher level ‘history of ideas’, as well as the social realities and experiences ‘on the ground’, were coloured by cosmopolitanism. A second key advantage is in agency and dynamism. As this article has stressed, the ability to appreciate change and the creation of newness is one of the most profitable net results from examining cosmopolitanism in a historical study. Cosmopolitanism transcends exchange by showing a more comprehensive impact of the process in its centres and peripheries, and understanding the malleability of identities. Thirdly, the creation of newness has been exposed as a key outcome of a cosmopolitan approach which links to the malleability of identities. A cosmopolitan history therefore rests on understanding the global within the individual, and this can only be achieved with a rigorous application of scale and perspective. The approach rests on understanding the overlapping transnationalities inherent to a historical case study and appreciating that these can overlap. For John Paige, transnationality existed in the consumptive practices merchants facilitated, in the behaviour of the merchants themselves and the way in which exchange functioned.

This account has not been exhaustive, but has illustrated the potential of an unexplored mode of analysis. Exchange and mobility must deal with transfer, comparison, continuity, and change. Identities must be appreciated as the encapsulation of far wider processes while still keeping the agency of the person at the forefront of critical vision. In sum, a cosmopolitan history must look for the big within the small, but frame the small within its contexts both immediate and distant. Finally, reflecting on the case study of John Paige, the key conclusions from this discussion are that a mercantile community existed on two levels, and that greater focus is needed on its intellectual, emotional, and intangible dimension. Avrom Udovitch claims that letters were ‘sinews holding together an organic structure’,[19] while Sebouh Aslanian suggests that this network retained its strength through the regular circulation of merchants and Claude Markovits equally argues that circulation of people and information maintained the network.[20] Information exchange contributed to the creation of a hybrid and organic network of cosmopolitan significance, and, imbuing letters with a certain degree of agency, correspondence served to reify the ideological network. With products, these three categories of exchange can be viewed through the prism of Paige’s letters. Closer examination of these typologies however reveals that what on the one hand can be attributed to a more basic cultural exchange is more accurately described as ‘cosmopolitan’, ultimately resting on the dilation of political and cultural borders which resulted from Paige’s activities. While basic cultural exchange ultimately served to reinforce national boundaries, stressing the inherent ‘otherness’ in moveable types, cosmopolitanism yields a more global perspective.

Cosmopolitanism can therefore reconcile the assimilation of foreign products within local communities, and similarly account for the ability of merchants to maintain a national identity while operating in a clearly transnational network, and sustaining a socially acceptable hybrid. Identities by the mid-seventeenth were malleable concepts, which changed in the construction of cross-cultural connections, and for this reason the concept is useful.


[1] This paper was presented at the ‘Moveable Types’ conference at the University of Kent in November 2014. Thanks are extended to the organisers and attendees of that conference, the general editors, and academics and peers in the Department of History who have made the past couple of years at Sheffield rewarding.

[2] For this biography in full and for the letters referenced in the following section, please see G. Steckley (Ed.), The letters of John Paige, London Merchant, 1648-1658, (London Record Society, 1984)

[3] S. Vertovec and R. Cohen (Eds), Conceiving Cosmopolitanism. Theory, Context and Practice (Oxford, 2002), Introduction.

[4] J. Urry, The Global Media and Cosmopolitanism, Paper presented at the Transnational America Conference, Bavarian American Academy, Munich, June 2000. B. Szerszynski and J. Urry, Cultures of Cosmopolitanism, The Sociological Review (2002), T. Veblen, Theory of the Leisure Class: An Economic Study in the Evolution of Institutions. (New York, 1899), G. McCracken, Culture and Consumption: New Approaches to the Symbolic Character of Consumer Goods and Activities, (Indianapolis, 1988), pp. 28-9.

[5] S. Zaggia, Foreign Students in the City c.1500-1700, in D. Calabi and S.T. Christensen (Eds) Cities and Cultural Exchange in Europe, 1400-1700 (Cambridge, 2007).

[6] See footnote 3, above.

[7] See, accessed January 26th 2015

[8] G. Wallace Brown and D. Held (Eds), The Cosmopolitanism Reader, (Cambridge, 2010)

[9] J. Waldron, What is Cosmopolitanism?, in Wallace Brown and Held (Eds), The Cosmopolitanism Reader, p. 166.

[10] Ibid., p. 168.

[11] U. Beck, The Cosmopolitan Manifesto, in Ibid., p. 217.

[12] Beck, p. 218.

[13] Ibid., p. 228.

[14] A. Appadurai (Ed.), The Social Life of Things, Commodities in Cultural Perspective (Cambridge, 1986) Introduction.

[15] F. Trivellato, ‘Merchants’ letters across geographical and social boundaries’, in F. Bethencourt and F. Egmond (Eds), Correspondence and Cultural Exchange in Europe, 1400-1700 (Cambridge, 2007), p. 83.

[16] M. Infelise, ‘From merchants’ letters to handwritten political avvisi: notes on the origins of public information’, in Ibid., p. 33.

[17] Trivellato, ‘Merchant’s Letters’, p. 83 and S. Aslanian, ‘The Salt in a Merchant’s Letter: The Culture of Julfan Correspondence in the Indian Ocean and the Mediterranean’, Journal of World History 19.2 (2008), p. 153.

[18] Ibid.

[19] Trivellato, Merchant’s letters, p. 102.

[20] Aslanian p. 130.

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