The impressive lifestyles and concepts of 1 of the greatest―and such a lot neglected―minds in history.
Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682) used to be an English author, health practitioner, and thinker whose paintings has encouraged each person from Ralph Waldo Emerson to Jorge Luis Borges, Virginia Woolf to Stephen Jay Gould. In an highbrow experience like Sarah Bakewell's booklet approximately Montaigne, How to Live, Hugh Aldersey-Williams units off not only to inform the tale of Browne's existence yet to champion his skeptical nature and inquiring mind.
Mixing botany, etymology, drugs, and literary historical past, Aldersey-Williams trips in his hero's footsteps to introduce us to witches, zealots, typical wonders, and impressive creatures of Browne's time and ours. We meet Browne the grasp prose stylist, chargeable for introducing 1000's of phrases into English, together with electricity, hallucination, and suicide. Aldersey-Williams unearths how Browne’s preoccupations―how to disabuse the credulous in their silly ideals, what to make of order in nature, how you can unite technological know-how and religion―are correct today.
In seek of Sir Thomas Browne is greater than only a biography―it is a cupboard of wonders and a controversy that Browne, status on the very gates of recent technological know-how, is still an inquiring brain for our personal time. As Stephen Greenblatt has written, Browne is "unnervingly certainly one of our so much adventurous contemporaries."