Winner of the History of Science Society's Pfizer Prize"This book is about settingthe limits of the natural and the limits of the known, wonders and wonder, from the High Middle Agesthrough the Enlightenment. A history of wonders as objects of natural inquiry is simultaneously anintellectual history of the orders of nature. A history of wonder as a passion of natural inquiry issimultaneously a history of the evolving collective sensibility of naturalists. Pursued in tandem,these interwoven histories show how the two sides of knowledge, objective order and subjectivesensibility, were obverse and reverse of the same coin rather than opposed to one another."-- Fromthe IntroductionWonders and the Order of Nature is about the ways in which European naturalists fromthe High Middle Ages through the Enlightenment used wonder and wonders, the passion and its objects,to envision themselves and the natural world. Monsters, gems that shone in the dark, petrifyingsprings, celestial apparitions--these were the marvels that adorned romances, puzzled philosophers,lured collectors, and frightened the devout. Drawing on the histories of art, science, philosophy,and literature, Lorraine Daston and Katharine Park explore and explain how wonder and wondersfortified princely power, rewove the texture of scientific experience, and shaped the sensibility ofintellectuals. This is a history of the passions of inquiry, of how wonder sometimes inflamed,sometimes dampened curiosity about nature's best-kept secrets. Refracted through the prism ofwonders, the order of nature splinters into a spectrum of orders, a tour of possibleworlds.