While the characters of a lore are studied and remembered in an excruciating amount of detail, I believe the setting is a much better place to start.
The time? The Scientific Revolution. But, when is that exactly? Trick question, as nobody knows the exact date. What we can say is that this is the label some historians give to the time period in Europe between the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. During this time, the world saw the Magellan expedition, the brutal colonization by the Spanish into the Americas, the reformation of Martin Luther leading to the Thirty Year War in Europe, the fall of China's Ming Dynasty, and the Great Turkish War.
But history should not be studied only through the lens of the atrocities human beings have committed on one another. From a spark created by Copernicus' work on the study of the heavens, a revolution of thought began to happen in Europe. Why does fire burn me when I touch it? What makes a king have the right to rule? What is God? How do the planets move through the sky? Why do these damn apples keep falling off the tree?
If our nature is to question everything, then this is the time period that brought about the revolutionary ways we answer these questions.
The place? Central Europe mostly, but look at the events above. From the Silk Way, the expeditions to the Americas, and the development of Islamic Science, human beings were interacting to a degree unprecedented at the time. This period of time is not just Europe's to own and honor, but a collection of cultures merging their ideas together to create the scientific method we use to this day.