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Thomas Browne and the writing of early modern science /
Claire Preston.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2005.
description
xiv, 250 p. : ill.
ISBN
0521837944 (alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 2005.
isbn
0521837944 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
5388857
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2005-10-01:
Preston (Cambridge Univ.) argues that Browne's abiding interest in fragments and remains--evident both in the fragmentary structure of texts such as Religio Medici (1643) and in his antiquarian practice--indicates the centrality in his work of the search for a lost intellectual and moral order, one that is prelapsarian in nature. Religio Medici anticipates Browne's later, more mature treatments of collection, preservation, and experimentation. In it, Browne articulates a "theology of civility" in which productive intellectual and social collaboration can help restore human understanding despite the degradation resulting from the fall of humankind. However, in his later texts--e.g., Urne-Buriall (1658) and Musaeum Clausum (c. 1674)--Browne shows signs of pessimism toward this project, as he shifts toward millenarian expectation. These works and others seek and elaborate the redemptive possibilities in Baconian empiricism. Preston recommends, ultimately, that while acknowledging the lesser significance of Browne's original contributions to the history of science, readers should value him as a first-rate synthesizer and prose stylist whose "investigative poetics" illuminate major developments in 17th-century European science. This volume is especially valuable for tracing the evolution of Browne's thought from the Religio Medici to his later writings, some of which have received scant critical attention. ^BSumming Up: Recommended. Graduate and research collections. A. L. Ellis Western Michigan University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'Claire Preston's eloquent study, Thomas Browne and the Writing of Early Modern Science (Cambridge University Press), perceptively illuminates the man and the work.' Times Literary Supplement
"In this loving and robust account, Preston firmly grounds Browne's writing in the social history of natural philosophy and, like salt of the earth, adds new flavors and accents to our impression of the early modern world...The book proves enormously rewarding in its range of inquiry, and it will no doubt be especially enjoyable for those salts of the earth who may already have a loving appreciation for the many dimensions of Thomas Browne." - Colin Milburn, University of California, Davis
'... one of the best ever written on Thomas Browne ... Preston teaches the reader to think about Browne anew ... a prose style that is vivid, elegant, and compelling.' Minerva
Review of the hardback: 'Claire Preston's eloquent study, Thomas Browne and the Writing of Early Modern Science (Cambridge University Press), perceptively illuminates the man and the work.' Times Literary Supplement
Review of the hardback: '... one of the best ever written on Thomas Browne ... Preston teaches the reader to think about Browne anew ... a prose style that is vivid, elegant, and compelling.' Minerva
Review of the hardback: '... Thomas Browne and the Writing of Early Modern Science is a fitting tribute to its subject.' Times Literary Supplement
"The strongest part of this book is Preston's clear committment to a careful and thoughtful reading of Thomas Browne's works." - Renaissance Quarterly Allison B. Kavley, John Jay College, The City University of New York
'... Thomas Browne and the Writing of Early Modern Science is a fitting tribute to its subject.' Times Literary Supplement
'... Thomas Browne and the Writing of Early Modern Science is a fitting tribute to its subject.'Times Literary Supplement
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, October 2005
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this evaluation of Browne's oeuvre, Claire Preston examines how the developing essay form, the discourse of scientific experiment, and above all Bacon's model of intellectual progress and cooperation determined the unique character of Browne's contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Description for Bookstore
Claire Preston argues that Thomas Browne's work can be fully understood only within the range of disciplines and practices associated with natural philosophy and early modern empiricism. Early modern methods of cataloguing, collecting, experimentation and observation, drove his writing on many subjects from medicine and botany to archaeology and antiquarianism. In this illuminating study, Preston examines how the developing essay form, the discourse of scientific experiment, and above all Bacon's model of intellectual progress and cooperation determined the un ique character of his contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Description for Bookstore
In this illuminating study, Claire Preston examines Thomas Browne's work in the context of the development of scientific disciplines and practices in the seventeenth century. In particular, she charts the intellectual configurations and beliefs that determined the unique character of Browne's contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Main Description
Claire Preston argues that Thomas Browne's work can be fully understood only within the range of disciplines and practices associated with natural philosophy and early modern empiricism. Early modern methods of cataloguing, collecting, experimentation and observation organised his writing on many subjects from medicine and botany to archaeology and antiquarianism. Browne framed philosophical concerns in the terms of civil behaviour, with collaborative networks of intellectual exchange, investigative selflessness, courtesy, modesty and ultimately the generosity of the natural world itself, all characterising the return to 'innocent' knowledge, which, for Browne, is the proper end of human enquiry. In this major evaluation of Browne's oeuvre, Preston examines how the developing essay form, the discourse of scientific experiment, and above all Bacon's model of intellectual progress and cooperation determined the unique character of Browne's contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Main Description
Claire Preston argues that Thomas Browne’s work can be fully understood only within the range of disciplines and practices associated with natural philosophy and early modern empiricism. Early modern methods of cataloguing, collecting, experimentation and observation, organised his writing on many subjects from medicine and botany to archaeology and antiquarianism. Browne framed philosophical concerns in the terms of civil behaviour, with collaborative networks of intellectual exchange, investigative selflessness, courtesy, modesty, and ultimately the generosity of the natural world itself all characterising the return to 'innocent’ knowledge, which, for Browne, is the proper end of human enquiry. In this major new evaluation of Browne’s oeuvre, Preston examines how the developing essay form, the discourse of scientific experiment, and above all Bacon's model of intellectual progress and cooperation determined the unique character of Browne’s contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Main Description
Claire Preston argues that Thomas Browne's work can be fully understood only within the range of disciplines and practices associated with natural philosophy and early writing on subjects ranging from medicine and botany to archaeology and antiquarianism. Preston examines how the developing essay form, the discourse of scientific experiment, and, above all, Bacon's model of intellectual progress and cooperation determined the unique character of Browne's contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Table of Contents
Browne's civility
Religio Medici: the junior endeavour
The civil monument: Pseudodoxia Epidemica and investigative culture
The laureate of the grave: Urne-Buriall and the failure of memory
The jocund cabinet and the melancholy museum: a brief excursion into Brownean comedy
The epitome of the earth: The Garden of Cyrus and verdancy
The fruits of natural knowledge: the fugitive writings, and a conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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