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Distributed for University of Wales Press

Edward Lhwyd

c.1660–1709, Naturalist, Antiquary, Philologist

A critical biography of an influential seventeenth-century Welsh intellectual.
Edward Lhwyd, an illegitimate son of a father ruined by the English Civil War, made his own way in the world, finally laying the foundation for modern Celtic studies. A competent botanist as a child, he spent his collegiate days at Oxford University in the Botanical Garden before being appointed the second keeper of the newly established Ashmolean Museum. This biography traces the development of his wide-ranging research interests beginning with botany and paleontology and leading into antiquarian studies and Celtic languages. Developing his own scientific method based on naturalistic observation, Lhwyd left an indelible mark on the history of science.

304 pages | 10 halftones | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2

Scientists of Wales

Biography and Letters

Biological Sciences: Botany, Paleobiology, Geology, and Paleontology

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“This first full-length biography of Lhwyd is meticulously researched and covers his multifarious interests in botany, palaeontology, linguistics, and other disciplines. Many details of his biography, such as his feud with Woodward, make him a fascinating character. Much of the information has not been previously available in English. . . and readers will find that their curiosity about Lhwyd is amply rewarded in this masterly and engrossing book.”

Arthur Chater, author of Flora of Cardiganshire

"Brynley Roberts gives us an authoritative and fascinating account of the life, controversies, travels, and publications of Edward Lhwyd, FRS, who applied scientific principles in so many fields—botany, palaeontology, archaeology, and philology."

Marged Haycock, Professor Emeritus of Welsh, Aberystwyth University

"Edward Lhwyd was a seventeenth-century polymath, whose many-sided accomplishments have defeated would-be biographers. Now, at last, we have a biography by Brynley Roberts which does full justice to Lhwyd the scientist, Lhwyd the linguist, and Lhwyd the antiquary. . . within his intellectual milieux at home and abroad, uncovering also his fascinating early life in the Welsh borders. This biography, based on a lifetime’s study, will not be superseded."

Richard Suggett, FSA, FLSW, Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales

Table of Contents

A note on dates and money
List of Illustrations
1 Lloyd of Llanforda
2 Life at Llanforda: father and son
3 Oxford
4 Apprenticeship years at the Ashmolean
5 Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum
6 Fossils and formed stones: Lithophylacii britannici ichnographia, 1699
7 Britannia, 1695
8 Archæologia Britannica: Wales
9 Archæologia Britannica: Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Brittany
10 The Glossography and after
11 Afterlife

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