1616: The World in Motion accepted for publication

avercamp: colf

Colf Players on the Ice, ca. 1620­–1625, by Hendrick Avercamp. Edmund and Sally Speelman Collection.

Now that I have a preliminary commitment from a publisher I feel I can finally talk about my new book, tentatively planned for publication in fall-winter 2011 from Counterpoint Press. It’s basically a global history of the world in the year 1616.

Why 1616? In a way the year is more or less random, and looking intently at any one year would probably turn out to be interesting. But 1616, though in some ways more of an average year than an earthshaking one, falls right at the cusp when the world was teetering toward modernity. With a regular trade now established between Asia and the Americas via the Pacific the final piece in a true global economy was in place. Obviously I will have more to say on this topic.

The image above is by Hendrick Avercamp, a Dutch painter specializing in ice scenes. 1616 fell during the global cooling called the Little Ice Age. That cooling was a factor leading to the destabilization and fall of China’s Ming empire. I could go on …

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  1. How exciting! Some of my favorite history books are those that take a year and follow the events of that year across the globe. One of the books that I liked is “1688, A Global History. ” There was another one, set in the First Century AD. So, you’ve got a great concept and knowing how meticulous you are, I am sure that the book will be a winner!

  2. You’re well read, Nancy. I’m glad you mentioned John Wills’s book, 1688, because it is the most comparable to mine. I say that not having read it (yet) — I remembered it a while after getting into my project, but I decided not to read it for fear it would influence me too much. I have read other writing by Wills, and I think he is quite good.

    When I sent my opening chapters to my publisher, I figured I’d better check it out so I could mention it as a comparable. I only looked at the TOC but judging from that it appears his organization is geographic. Mine is thematic, so I don’t think the books are too much alike.