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Curiosity

A Cultural History of Early Modern Inquiry

In this striking social history, Barbara M. Benedict draws on the texts of the early modern period to discover the era’s attitudes toward curiosity, a trait we learn was often depicted as an unsavory form of transgression or cultural ambition.

296 pages | 20 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2001

History: British and Irish History, History of Ideas

History of Science

Literature and Literary Criticism: British and Irish Literature

Table of Contents

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


INTRODUCTION INSPECTING AND SPECTATING: MONSTERS,
RARITIES, AND INVESTIGATORS

CHAPTER ONE REGULATING CURIOSITY
The Discipline of Fraud
Curiosity as Second Sight

CHAPTER TWO CONSUMING CURIOSITY
Monstrous Modernity and Curious Art
The Curious Eye

CHAPTER THREE FROM THE CURIOUS TO THE CURIO
The Inquiry of Eve
Women as Closeted Curiosities

CHAPTER FOUR CONNOISSEURSHIP IN THE MENTAL CABINET
Curiosities of Artful Nature
Collecting Culture in the Printed Museum

CHAPTER FIVE PERFORMING CURIOSITY
The Curios Control of Nature
Curiosity as Social Reform

CONCLUSION TRANSGRESSION AND AMBITION


NOTES

INDEX

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