Wonder & Science: Imagining Worlds in Early Modern Europe

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Cornell University Press, 2004 - History - 366 pages
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During the early modern period, western Europe was transformed by the proliferation of new worlds—geographic worlds found in the voyages of discovery and conceptual and celestial worlds opened by natural philosophy, or science. The response to incredible overseas encounters and to the profound technological, religious, economic, and intellectual changes occurring in Europe was one of nearly overwhelming wonder, expressed in a rich variety of texts. In the need to manage this wonder, to harness this imaginative overabundance, Mary Baine Campbell finds both the sensational beauty of early scientific works and the beginnings of the divergence of the sciences—particularly geography, astronomy, and anthropology—from the writing of fiction.Campbell's learned and brilliantly perceptive new book analyzes a cross section of texts in which worlds were made and unmade; these texts include cosmographies, colonial reports, works of natural philosophy and natural history, fantastic voyages, exotic fictions, and confessions. Among the authors she discusses are André Thevet, Thomas Hariot, Francis Bacon, Galileo, Margaret Cavendish, and Aphra Behn. Campbell's emphasis is on developments in England and France, but she considers works in languages other than English or French which were well known in the polyglot book culture of the time. With over thirty well-chosen illustrations, Wonder and Science enhances our understanding of the culture of early modern Europe, the history of science, and the development of literary forms, including the novel and ethnography.
  

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Contents

Introduction
1
IMAGINATION AND DISCIPLINE
23
The Isles of Andre Thevet
30
Anecdote
44
The Pyne fruite watercolor by John White
56
Pict carrying European head from Theodor de Brys
64
The Nature of Things and the Vexations of Art
69
Initial P in the first edition of Francis Bacons Niwum
86
Frontispiece to John Bulwers Anthropometamorphosu
220
THE ARTS OF ANTHROPOLOGY
221
Matron virgo femina from JeanJacques Boissards
229
Anthropometamorphcvu
233
Crosscultural cosmetics from John Bulwers
237
Categories and Misfits or What Is That
250
Exposed Excised Experienced
272
Fiction Science and Agency
278

Waterworks of the artificial island at Enston from
107
ALTERNATIVE WORLDS
111
Imaginary Gardens Real Toads
155
Domingo Gonsales flies to the Moon from Francis
157
Cyrano de Bergeracs Other World
171
Hooke Cavendish and the Invisible Worlds
181
Point of needle full stop and razors edge from Robert
193
Detail from droneflys eye from Robert Hookes
199
Lafitau s Moeurs de s sauvages
285
La Religion influoit en tout
293
Torture
299
Psalmanazar Formosa and the Other Self
310
The Wild Child
319
Works Cited
325
Index
353
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Mary Baine Campbell is Professor of English at Brandeis University.

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