John Wilkins (1614-1672): New Essays


Editor: William Poole
John Wilkins (1614-72): New Essays presents ten fresh essays on the life and work of the influential English natural philosopher and theologian, John Wilkins. Wilkins, one of the most prominent figures in the scientific revolution in England, and a founder of the Royal Society of London, published widely on astronomy, mechanics, language, and theology, and was also an important churchman and politician. These ten essays review Wilkins’s writings and influence, while also addressing the wider contexts of his activities, including his service as head of house at two successive colleges in Oxford and Cambridge, and his political work. This new collection thus covers all aspects of Wilkins’s career, and functions as a complete reappraisal of this seminal early modern figure.

Contributors are: C. S. L. Davies, Mordechai Feingold, Felicity Henderson, Natalie Kaoukji, Rhodri Lewis, Scott Mandelbrote, Jon Parkin, William Poole, Anna Marie Roos, and Richard Serjeantson.

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William Poole (D.Phil., Oxford, 2001) is Fellow and Tutor in English at New College, Oxford. He has published on many bibliographical and historical topics in early modern Britain, including the history of science.
“Highly rewarding”
Michael Hunter, Emeritus Professor of History at Birkbeck College, University of London. In: Isis, Vol. 109, No 4 (December 2018), pp. 842-843.

Preface and Acknowledgements


1 The Young John Wilkins and the Debate over Copernicanism
Mordechai Feingold


2 Wilkins at Wadham
C.S.L. Davies

3 Wilkins in Cambridge
Richard Serjeantson

4 Wilkins and Latitudinarianism
Jon Parkin


5 Taking the Moon Seriously: John Wilkins’s Discovery of a World in the Moone (1638) and Discourse Concerning a New World and Another Planet (1640)
Felicity Henderson

6 Mathematicall Magick (1648) and the Mechanics of Discovery
Natalie Kaoukji

7 The Same Principle of Reason: John Wilkins and Language
Rhodri Lewis

8 John Wilkins and the Gardens of Wadham College
Scott Mandelbrote

After Wilkins

9 Chymical Teaching in Early Modern Oxford: From Wilkins to Whiteside
Anna Marie Roos


Appendix. Wadham College Library: The First Century
William Poole


All interested in the history of science, seventeenth century intellectual and institutional history, the history of universities, and the rise of the Royal Society of London.