The most prolific historian of early modern German literature in the twentieth century, Klaus Garber has largely remained unknown to English-language scholars. The seven essays selected here are translated into English for the first time and represent the 'essence' of Garber's work. Central to Garber's outlook is a break with the traditional canonization of culture into national categories. Moreover, he argues that literary history consists not only of intellectual history, but also political and social history. As he states in his preface to this volume: 'To bring Old Europe to life in all the variety of its cultural landscapes; to hear across space and time the voices that praised this multiplicity as a valuable possession; to be inspired by the past to respond to our own needs - these tasks constitute the noblest goal of early modern literary studies today.'