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Thomas Browne: 21st-Century Oxford Authors

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Publication details

DatePublished - 24 Apr 2014
Number of pages1018
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of PublicationOxford
Original languageEnglish
ISBN (Print)978-0-19-964043-0

Abstract

This volume offers a comprehensive selection of Thomas Browne's work, some of the most brilliant and delirious prose in English Literature. Lauded by writers ranging from Coleridge to Virginia Woolf, from Borges to W.G. Sebal, Browne's distinct style and the musicality of his phrasing have long been seen as a pinnacle of early modern prose. However, it is Browne's range of subject matter that makes him truly distinct. His writings include the hauntingly meditative Urn-Burial, in which the broken shards of urns found in a field lead him onto a history of mortality and oblivion, and the elaborate Escheresque architecture of The Garden of Cyrus, a work that borders on a madness of infinite pattern. Religio Medici, probably Browne's most enduringly famous work, is at once autobiography, intricate religious-scientific paradox, and a monument of tolerance in the era of the English civil war. This volume also includes his Pseudodoxia Epidemica, an encyclopaedia of error which contains within its vast remit the entire intellectual landscape of the seventeenth century - its science, its natural history, its painting, its history, its geography and its biblical oddities. Across this range of material, Browne brings his lucid, baroque and stylish prose to bear, together with a carefully poised wit. This volume contains almost all of the author's published work, as well as much of his posthumous writing, together with detailed endnotes and an expansive introduction to Browne's work and life.

    Research areas

  • Thomas Browne, early modern science, prose, religion, seventeenth century

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