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Distributed for Bodleian Library, University of Oxford

John Aubrey and the Advancement of Learning

John Aubrey (1626–97) was one of the best-connected scholars and antiquaries in the great decades of the British scientific revolution. He is remembered as a pioneer historian and the father of English life-writing, whose Brief Lives remains a lasting portrait of a generation of eminent thinkers and nobles. But Aubrey’s intellectual interests were much broader. He was one of the first Fellows of the Royal Society, and he was acquainted with leading scientists of the generation of Robert Hooke and Isaac Newton. Aubrey championed Hooke’s geological theories, radical for the time, that proposed the organic origin of fossils. In addition, Aubrey was a keen mathematician and an early donor to the Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Bodleian Library. Extensively illustrated, John Aubrey and the Advancement of Learning presents all of Aubrey’s varied interests and pursuits in their intellectual milieu. Published to celebrate the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society, this is the first accessible and illustrated guide to Aubrey’s many diverse achievements as a biographer, natural philosopher and scientist, and antiquary.


111 pages | 75 color plates | 7 1/5 x 9 4/5 | © 2010

Biography and Letters


Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgements

1   John Aubrey, Virtuoso
2   Oxford Science, London Science
3   Repositories and Museums
4   Aubrey and Mathematics
5   The Philosophical Language
6   Megaliths
7   Aubrey and the Earth Sciences
8   Historical Methods
9   Aubrey and Biography

Conclusion
Appendix: Aubrey’s Books
Authorities and Further Reading
Select Bibliography

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