Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Between ca. 1500 and ca. 1800 most Western European societies moved decisively from restricted to mass literacy. This article outlines the spectrum of skills that made up early modern literacy, charts the changing social and geographical distribution of literacy in early modern Europe, offers economic, religious, political and cultural (including linguistic) explanations for change and assesses the importance of this momentous change for European social development after 1800. It deals not only with reading, writing and counting, but also with communication processes that encompassed the worlds of oral, aural and visual culture.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-23
Number of pages24
JournalEuropäische Geschichte Online
Early online date28 Nov 2011
Publication statusPublished - 28 Nov 2011


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