9780300111965

The Jewel House; Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780300111965

  • ISBN10:

    0300111967

  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 2007-10-24
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
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Summary

This book explores the streets, shops, back alleys, and gardens of Elizabethan London, where a boisterous and diverse group of men and women shared a keen interest in the study of nature. These assorted merchants, gardeners, barber-surgeons, midwives, instrument makers, mathematics teachers, engineers, alchemists, and other experimenters Deborah Harkness contends formed a patchwork scientific community whose practices set the stage for the Scientific Revolution. While Francis Bacon has been widely regarded as the father of modern science, scores of his London contemporaries also deserve a share in this distinction. It was their collaborative, yet often contentious, ethos that helped to develop the ideals of modern scientific research. The book examines six particularly fascinating episodes of scientific inquiry and dispute in sixteenth-century London, bringing to life the individuals involved and the challenges they faced. These men and women experimented and invented, argued and competed, waged wars in the press, and struggled to understand the complexities of the natural world. Together their stories illuminate the blind alleys and surprising twists and turns taken as medieval philosophy gave way to the empirical, experimental culture that became a hallmark of the Scientific Revolution.

Author Biography

Deborah E. Harkness is associate professor of history, University of Southern California, and the author of John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature. She lives in San Marino, CA.

Table of Contents

Prelude : London, 1600 : the view from somewherep. 1
Living on Lime Street : "English" natural history and the European republic of lettersp. 15
The contest over medical authority : Valentine Russwurin and the barber-surgeonsp. 57
Educating Icarus and displaying Daedalus : mathematics and instrumentation in Elizabethan Londonp. 97
"Big science" in Elizabethan Londonp. 142
Clement Draper's prison notebooks : reading, writing, and doing sciencep. 181
From the Jewel House to Salomon's house : Hugh Plat, Francis Bacon, and the social foundations of the scientific revolutionp. 211
Coda : toward an ethnography of early modern sciencep. 254
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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