In Search of Sir Thomas Browne:
Sir Thomas Browne (1605 1682) was an English writer, physician, and philosopher whose work has inspired everyone from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Jorge Luis Borges, Virginia Woolf to Stephen Jay Gould. In an intellectual adventure akin to Sarah Bakewell s book on Montaigne, How to Live, Hugh Aldersey-Williams sets off not just to tell the story of Browne s life but also to champion his skeptical nature and inquiring mind for our own age. Mixing botany, etymology, medicine, and literary history, Aldersey-Williams journeys in his hero s footsteps to introduce us to witches, zealots, natural wonders, and fabulous creatures of Browne s time and ours. He reveals how Browne s preoccupations how to disabuse the credulous of their foolish beliefs, what to make of order in nature, how to unite science and religion are relevant today. And he shows how Sir Thomas Browne himself remains, as Stephen Greenblatt has written, unnervingly one of our most adventurous contemporaries.
by : Hugh Aldersey-Williams |