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    The Boyle papers: understanding the manuscripts of Robert Boyle

    Hunter, Michael and Davis, E.B. and Knight, H. and Littleton, C. and Principe, L.M. (2007) The Boyle papers: understanding the manuscripts of Robert Boyle. Aldershot, UK: Ashgate Publishing. ISBN 9780754655688.

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    Robert Boyle (1627–91) was the most influential British scientist of the late seventeenth century. His huge archive, which has been at the Royal Society since 1769, has only recently been explored, leading to a new understanding of many aspects of Boyle's thought. This volume brings together the essential materials for understanding the Boyle Papers. It includes a revised version of Michael Hunter's fundamental study of the archive, first published in 1992, which elucidates its history and the way in which handwriting evidence can be used to identify chronological strata within it, thus making it possible to trace the development of Boyle's ideas. Other chapters deal with such components of the Papers as Boyle's 'workdiaries' and his projected Paralipomena; another uses material from the archive to illuminate the making of a key work by Boyle, his Free Inquiry into the Vulgarly Receiv'd Notion of Nature; while another illustrates that, large as the archive is, it is only a part of what existed in Boyle's lifetime. Parts of the content have been published before, but they are here presented in revised and fully indexed form. Lastly, the volume includes a completely revised version of the catalogue of the Boyle Papers, Letters and ancillary manuscripts originally published in 1992, updating it by tabulating the extensive use of the archive made in recent years in connection with the publication of the definitive editions of Boyle's Works and Correspondence (1999–2001). In all, the volume will be indispensable to anyone with a serious interest in Boyle. Contents: Introduction: The Boyle Papers in context; Robert Boyle and his archive; The lost papers of Robert Boyle, Michael Hunter and Lawrence M. Principe; The workdiaries of Robert Boyle: a newly discovered source and its internet publication, Michael Hunter and Charles Littleton; Robert Boyle's Paralipomena: an analysis and reconstruction, Michael Hunter, Harriet Knight and Charles Littleton; The making of Robert Boyle's Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Receiv'd Notion of Nature (1686), Michael Hunter and Edward B. Davis; Catalogue of the Boyle papers, letters, notebooks and associated manuscripts; Index. From the publisher's web site:


    Item Type: Book
    Additional Information: Hunter, Michael, with contributions by Edward B. Davis, Harriet Knight, Charles Littleton and Lawrence M. Principe. Hunter's contribution is 80 per cent. The introduction and full contents list are available from the publisher's web site: and
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Historical Studies
    Depositing User: Sandra Plummer
    Date Deposited: 21 May 2008 14:03
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 16:48


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