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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Deborah E. Harkness 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. It was their collaborative, yet often contentious, ethos that helped to develop the ideals of modern scientific research. The Jewel House examines six particularly fascinating episodes of scientific inquiry and dispute in 16th-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.
©2007 Deborah E. Harkness (P)2014 Tantor
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Elizabeth on 07-14-15

Great history!

Really wonderfully written history of Elizabethan London and the communities and networks that took part in creating a culture of science. This book is not a novel, if you were looking for that, but it is engaging, entertaining, and a enjoyable historical adventure through the streets of London with real people.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful


By Suzanne Rauch on 04-20-15

Very technical non fiction

I had listened to the other books by Deborah Harkness and expected more witchcraft stories. Although the history and background of the emergence of science in Elizabethan London was fascinating, I was really in the mood for a suspenseful story. This would be an excellent print companion to her other books as you're reading/listening to them.

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10 of 11 people found this review helpful

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