Rhetoric and the Early Royal Society

A Sourcebook


Editors: Tina Skouen and Ryan Stark
The Royal Society’s establishment in 1660 signaled a new beginning for the rhetoric of science, mainly because the organization’s founders advocated a modern plain style for scientific communication. Rhetoric and the Early Royal Society aims to initiate fresh debates about this watershed event in the history of rhetoric and science. In the last twenty years, scholars in numerous disciplines have produced significant work, ranging from theoretical essays to case studies of founding members such as Wilkins, Hooke and Boyle. This is the first book to collect in one volume the key contributions. The newly written introduction by editors Skouen and Stark places the reprinted essays into perspective by evaluating the Society’s pioneering role in shaping modern scholarly communication.

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Tina Skouen, Dr. art., is Associate Professor of English literature at the University of Oslo. She has published several articles on early modern literature and rhetoric, including ‘The Rhetoric of Passion in Donne's Holy Sonnets' ( Rhetorica 27:2).

Ryan J. Stark, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of English at Corban University. His monograph, Rhetoric, Science, and Magic in Seventeenth-Century England, appeared in 2009, and he has published more recently on Paradise Lost and Tristram Shandy.

Contributors are Frédérique Aït-Touati, Peter Dear, Alan G. Gross, Joseph E. Harmon, Michael S. Reidy, Richard Nate, Robert E. Stillman and Michael Wintroub.
Scholars and post-graduate and undergraduate students interested in the rhetoric of science, the history of rhetoric, book history, early modern empiricism, the Enlightenment, and the Royal Society.