16 color plates, 60 halftones
6 x 9
This well-illustrated volume offers fresh perspectives on the great eighteenth-century physician, naturalist, and collector Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), whose extensive holdings formed the basis of the British Museum and its offspring, the Natural History Museum and the British Library. The colonial milieu within which Sloane operated gets prominence here, particularly the time he spent in Jamaica. Attention is paid to his enormous network of acquaintances and correspondents throughout the world as well as to the way his collecting activities permeated every aspect of his life. Other essays consider the museum specimens accumulated by Sloane—both natural and man-made—shedding new light on his aims for acquiring and organizing them. A fascinating look at the man behind three of the United Kingdom’s most famous museums, From Books to Bezoars will appeal to students and scholars of eighteenth century studies, early modern science, and the history of the book.