The History Of Scotland - From The Earliest Times To The Present Day - 2 volumes For Sale
The History Of Scotland - From The Earliest Times To The Present Day - 2 volumes
Houston, R A and Knox, W W J
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Browne, Sir Thomas - The Voyce of the World - ( Item 122190 )

Published in London by Folio Society. 2007. First Thus. Fine Hardback. No inscriptions or bookplates. Near Fine slipcase. Slight bumps to edges of panels of slipcase. Introduced by Tim Mackintosh-Smith. Edited by Geoffrey Keynes. Quarter-bound in cloth with paper sides printed with a marbled design by Ann Muir. Set in Caslon. 592 pages; colour frontispiece and 10 black & white illustrations. English literature is studded with unexpected genius, original and vivid works that emerge like precious stones from the rock of language. There is no better example, perhaps, than the writings of Sir Thomas Browne, a family doctor from Norfolk whose interests ranged from botany and archaeology to metaphysics, philosophy and prayer. He was, as Tim Mackintosh-Smith writes in his introduction, 'a literary colossus bestriding an intellectual backwater'. Like Montaigne or Robert Burton, Browne found, in contemplating his own mind, subject matter which he transmuted into golden prose: 'wee carry with us the wonders, wee seeke without us: There is all Africa, and her prodigies in us'. Writing on the cusp of the Enlightenment, as traditional religious beliefs faced the dawning of 'the new science', Browne was a polymath who moved from contemplating schisms within the Church to studying anatomy. He considered falconry and music, and observed the mathematical arrangements of nature, all the while exposing his own idiosyncrasies to the reader. Coleridge, reading him, felt that 'the humorist [is] constantly mingling with and flashing across the philosopher', as when Browne wryly appreciates that his virtuous lifestyle and lack of venereal diseases makes him 'as wholesome a morsell for the wormes as any'. This elegant Folio edition is the largest selection of Sir Thomas Browne's writings now in print. It contains not only his most celebrated works, Religio Medici, The Garden of Cyrus and Urne-Burial, but a selection of his more playful writings from the Museum Clausum and his refutation of common errors (man does not have one rib less than woman, rainbows did exist before the Flood) and his essay on Christian Morals. The volume is illustrated with engravings from 17th-century books of which we know Browne had copies in his library, an entertaining addition to the writings of a man who loved to take a picture as his starting point, whether musing on death or considering how Cleopatra and Antony sat for dinner.

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