Natural History in Early Modern France

The Poetics of an Epistemic Genre


Volume Editors: and
Natural History in Early Modern France offers a longue durée account of recurring poetic structures of the genre through case studies spanning from the Renaissance to the eve of the nineteenth century.
These case studies reveal the lasting epistemic importance of bookish knowledge and commonplacing in the natural-historical description from Belon to Buffon. They also highlight the French reception of Baconianism.
Natural History in Early Modern France makes a case for the literary status of the genre by attending to the permanence of its 'Plinian' features, such as wonders. Natural history was not only concerned with increasingly rational modes of ordering natural particulars: this book reveals its enduring social, affective, spiritual, and aesthetic underpinnings.

Contributors are: Peter Anstey, Susan Broomhall, Isabelle Charmantier, Arlette Fruet, Raphaële Garrod, Paul Gibbard, Dana Jalobeanu, Myriam Marrache-Gouraud, Stéphane Schmitt, Paul J. Smith, and Stéphane Van Damme.

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Raphaële Garrod, Ph.D. (2011), Trinity College, Cambridge, is research associate at Cambridge and incoming associate professor of early modern French at the University of Oxford. She has published on early modern French and neo-Latin intellectual history and literature.

Paul J. Smith, Ph.D. (1985), Leiden University, is professor of French literature at that University. He has published widely on early modern French literature, its reception in the Netherlands, and early modern natural history.
"This volume [...] beautifully illustrates literary approaches to the early modern French histoire naturelle."

Dorit Brixius, German Historical Institute in Paris, in ISIS 111.2

“A timely collection on the intersection of literature and natural history, especially concerning plants and birds.”
Dorothea Heitsch, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In: Renaissance Quarterly, Vol. 73, No. 1 (Spring 2020), pp. 360–361.

Figures and Tables
Notes on the Editors
Notes on the Contributors

1 Introduction. Knowledge and Literature: The Natural-Historical Description as Epistemic Genre?
Raphaële Garrod

2 Deux recueils d’illustrations ornithologiques : les Icones avium (1555 et 1560) de Conrad Gessner et les Portraits d’oyseaux (1557) de Pierre Belon
Paul J. Smith

3 Feeling Divine Nature: Natural History, Emotions and Bernard Palissy’s Knowledge Practice
Susan Broomhall

4 L’idée d’un oiseau : l’oiseau de paradis ou la fabrication d’une merveille (XVIe et XVIIe siècles)
Arlette Fruet

5 Du nouveau sur la licorne : le rôle des cabinets de curiosités dans l’avancée des savoirs
Myriam Marrache-Gouraud

6 The Natural-Historical Rejuvenation of Emblematics: The Moral Pedagogy of Nicolas Caussin’s Polyhistor Symbolicus
Raphaële Garrod

7 Natural History and Divertissement: J.B. Faultrier’s Traitté general des oyseaux (1660)
Isabelle Charmantier

8 At the Borders of the Metropolis: Writing the Natural History of Paris in the Eighteenth Century
Stéphane Van Damme

9 Rewriting Bacon’s Natural History: Pierre Amboise’s Translation of Sylva Sylvarum
Dana Jalobeanu

10 Bacon, Experimental Philosophy and French Enlightenment Natural History
Peter R. Anstey

11 La permanence des savoirs antiques dans l’histoire naturelle du second XVIIIe siècle
Stéphane Schmitt

12 Empiricism and Sensibility in the Australian Journal of Théodore Leschenault de La Tour (1800-1803)
Paul Gibbard

Index Nominum
Scholars of early modern history, history of science, early modern French.
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