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Between Enlightenment And Romanticism: The Case Of Dr. Thomas Beddoes

  • Trevor H. Levere
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Part of the Boston Studies In The Philosophy Of Science book series (BSPS, volume 241)

Dr. Thomas Beddoes is the main subject of this essay, but I shall work back to him via Davy, Berzelius, Coleridge, and Ørsted. Beddoes was a figure in the transition in England from the Enlightenment to Romanticism. His official biography, published by a dull doctor called Stock, suppresses almost everything that lent excitement to his life—his political activism, his conflicts with authority, his gift for friendship, his energetic internationalism, his scorn for the establishment, and the exuberant breadth of his intellectual, professional, and frequently radical connections. Besides labouring under suspicion from the Home Office, incurring the hostility of Joseph Banks, expressing enthusiasm for liberty, equality, and fraternity, and wishing for democracy in England, Beddoes was a conduit for European (and especially German) scientific, medical, philosophical, and literary culture. He was also, and to good effect, a patron of brilliant youth. He was physician, friend, co-agitator, and intellectual stimulus to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and, as director of the Pneumatic Institution at Clifton, just outside Bristol in the west of England, provided young Humphry Davy with a high-level entry into his stellar chemical career.

Keywords

Monthly Review German Literature Creative Imagination Intellectual Engagement Bodleian Library 
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References

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© Springer 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trevor H. Levere
    • 1
  1. 1.University of TorontoCanada

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