“Cinthia’s Hero”: Edward Howard’s The Six days Adventure, or the New Utopia

  • Judy A. Hayden
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine book series (PLSM)


Early practitioners of “science” often engaged with the “theatrical image, as an analogy for the world which was to be investigated.”1 Thomas Muffet (1550–1604), for example, entitled his study Insectorum sive minorum animalum theatricum (Theatre of Insects: Or, Lesser Living Creatures, 1634), and John Parkinson (1567–1650) called his botanical work the Theatrum Botanicum (Theatre of Plants, 1640).2 The frontispiece illustration and accompanying poem to Vincent Wing and William Leybourn’s Urania Practica (1649) shows Urania on stage in a “silent Comedie,” throwing open the “Curtain of darke Ignorance,” unfolding for the reader knowledge of astronomy and geometry.3 And finally, in his Entretiens sur la pluralité des mondes (1686), Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657–1757), too, draws a parallel, albeit a mechanistic one, between the stage and the heavens, observing of the heavens that

Nature is a great Scene, or Representation, much like one of our Opera’s … every thing is disposed there for representing agreeable Objects to your sight, from a large distance, while the wheels & weights, which move and counterpoise the Machines are all concealed from our view. (96)


Eighteenth Century Seventeenth Century World System Agreeable Object Copernican Revolution 
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  1. 1.
    Simon Schaffer, “Natural Philosophy and Public Spectacle in the Eighteenth Century,” History of Science 21 (March 1983), 14. Science in the seventeenth century meant “certain knowledge” and referred to a wide body of knowledge rather than specific disciplines. Thus, poetry, history, chemistry and the fine arts, for example, could all be viewed as “science.” See “Intersections and Cross-Fertilization” in Travel Narratives, the New Science, and Literary Discourse, 1569–1750, ed. Judy A. Hayden (Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2012), 1–3.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    William Poole, “Introduction” to Francis Godwin, The Man in the Moone, ed. William Poole (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Press, 2009), 24–25. In Lyly’s Endimion, the watch sings a song in which a drunkard is charged “In the name of the Man in the Moone” to explain why he staggers home so late (4.2.). Lyly’s name is not on the title page of Endimion, The Man in the Moone. Playd before the Queenes Majestie at Greenewich on Candlemas day at night, by the Chyldren of Paules (London: Printed by I. Charlewood, for the widdowe Broome, 1591). References are to scene and act. See note 4 of David Cressy’s essay in this collection, who points out John Taylor’s Taylors Travels and Circular Perambulation (London, 1636), where the writer notes various taverns in London named after the Man in the Moon.Google Scholar
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© Judy A. Hayden 2016

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  • Judy A. Hayden

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