The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution

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Yale University Press, 2007 - Science - 349 pages
2 Reviews

Bestselling author Deborah Harkness (A Discovery of Witches, Shadow of Night) 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, she 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.

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The Jewel house: Elizabethan London and the scientific revolution

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

This compelling book on the supporting characters of the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries chronicles the as yet untold stories of the many people who were not the great iconic ... Read full review

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User Review  - JaniceLiedl - LibraryThing

The communities and people of Elizabethan London's cutting-edge scientific culture come alive in this scholarly study. Read full review

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About the author (2007)

Deborah E. Harkness is professor of history, University of Southern California. She is the author of John Dee’s Conversations with Angels: Cabala, Alchemy, and the End of Nature and of the New York Times bestseller A Discovery of Witches.

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