Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture

Science and the Secrets of Nature Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture By explaining how to sire multicolored horses produce nuts without shells and create an egg the size of a human head Giambattista Della Porta s Natural Magic conveys a fascination with tricks

  • Title: Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture
  • Author: William Eamon
  • ISBN: 9780691034027
  • Page: 147
  • Format: Hardcover
  • By explaining how to sire multicolored horses, produce nuts without shells, and create an egg the size of a human head, Giambattista Della Porta s Natural Magic 1559 conveys a fascination with tricks and illusions that makes it a work difficult for historians of science to take seriously Yet, according to William Eamon, it is in the how to books written by medieval alBy explaining how to sire multicolored horses, produce nuts without shells, and create an egg the size of a human head, Giambattista Della Porta s Natural Magic 1559 conveys a fascination with tricks and illusions that makes it a work difficult for historians of science to take seriously Yet, according to William Eamon, it is in the how to books written by medieval alchemists, magicians, and artisans that modern science has its roots These compilations of recipes on everything from parlor tricks through medical remedies to wool dyeing fascinated medieval intellectuals because they promised access to esoteric secrets of nature In closely examining this rich but little known source of literature, Eamon reveals that printing technology and popular culture had as great, if not stronger, an impact on early modern science as did the traditional academic disciplines.By explaining how to sire multicolored horses, produce nuts without shells, and create an egg the size of a human head, Giambattista Della Porta s Natural Magic 1559 conveys a fascination with tricks and illusions that makes it a work difficult for historians of science to take seriously Yet, according to William Eamon, it is in the how to books written by medieval alchemists, magicians, and artisans that modern science has its roots These compilations of recipes on everything from parlor tricks through medical remedies to wool dyeing fascinated medieval intellectuals because they promised access to esoteric secrets of nature In closely examining this rich but little known source of literature, Eamon reveals that printing technology and popular culture had as great, if not stronger, an impact on early modernscience as did the traditional academic disciplines.

    One thought on “Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early Modern Culture”

    1. Haven't read this yet but Preston thought it may be relevant to your work. You might also look at:Tebeaux, Elizabeth. "Books of Secrets - Authors and Their Perception of Audience in Procedure Writing of the English Renaissance." Issues in Writing 3 (1990): 41-67d perhaps this dissertation, though not sure if this one is quite what you're after.Stine, Jennifer. "Opening Closets: The Discovery of Household Medicine in Early Modern England." PhD Thesis, Stanford, 1996.

    2. A lot of this book might be familiar to you if you've read Daston and Park's Wonders and the Order of Nature or Shapin and Schaffer's Leviathan and the Air-Pump, but Eamon puts it all together to create a more coherent narrative between the two works, to which he repeatedly returns. I also liked the scope of his book, looking at natural philosophers, but also at court culture and common people as sources and consumers of knowledge.

    3. I've read parts of this, but I need to read the whole thing this term. Preferably before a post-doc application is due in March.

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