Advertisement

John Donne and the New Science

  • Mary Thomas Crane
Chapter
Part of the Palgrave Handbooks of Literature and Science book series (PAHALISC)

Abstract

When considering the impact of the new science on early modern literature, I suspect that most scholars would consider Edmund Spenser and John Donne to be at opposite ends of a spectrum, with Spenser representing a writer who embraces traditional, if not archaic forms, and ignores new ideas in natural philosophy, and Donne well known as one of the earliest poets to refer explicitly to Copernicus, Galileo, Kepler, and their novel theories about the shape of the cosmos. However, as I have shown elsewhere, Spenser deals very seriously, albeit indirectly, with problems in contemporary astronomy in Book 5 of the Faerie Queene and again in the Cantos of Mutabilitie.1 And, although Donne refers to the new astronomy more explicitly than Spenser, many scholars have questioned the nature and seriousness of his engagement with it.2 Other scholars have argued that Donne does show serious interest in some aspects of new philosophy.3 Howard Marchitello is surely correct to argue that Donne was both ‘keenly interested in early modern science’ and also ‘deeply conflicted about the science’ especially as it ‘seems so profoundly to have complicated his understanding of the world.’4

Keywords

Female Figure Natural Philosopher Heavenly Body Archaic Form Aristotelian Natural Philosophy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Bibliography

  1. Bacon, Francis. 1973. The advancement of learning, ed. G.W. Kitchen. London: J.M. Dent.Google Scholar
  2. Bald, R.C. 1970. John Donne: A life. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Carey, John. 1981. John Donne: Life, mind, and art. New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Coffin, Charles M. 1937. John Donne and the new philosophy. New York: Humanities Press.Google Scholar
  5. Crane, Mary T. 2014. Losing touch with nature: Literature and the new science in sixteenth-century England. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Dear, Peter. 1995. Discipline and experience: The mathematical way in the scientific revolution. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Derrin, Daniel. 2013. Rhetoric and the familiar in Francis Bacon and John Donne. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Dick, Hugh G. (ed). 1944. Albumazar: A comedy. Berkeley: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  9. Digges, Thomas. 1573. Alae seu scalae mathematicae. London.Google Scholar
  10. Digges, Thomas, and Leonard Digges. 1576. A prognostication everlasting of right good effect. London.Google Scholar
  11. Donne, John. 1953–1962. The complete Sermons of John Donne, eds G.R. Potter and Evelyn M. Simpson, 10 vols. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 1969. John Donne, Ignatius his conclave, ed. T.S. Healy. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  13. Eamon, William. 1994. Science and the secrets of nature: Books of secrets in medieval and early modern culture. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  14. Empson, William. 1993. John Donne the space man. In Essays on Renaissance literature vol. 1: Donne and the new philosophy, ed. John Haffenden, 78–128. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  15. Freudenthal, Gad. 1983. Theory of matter and cosmology in William Gilbert’s De Magnete. Isis 74(1): 22–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gilbert, William. 1952. On the lodestone and magnetic bodies, in Gilbert, Galileo, Harvey, trans P. Fleury Mottelay, eds Robert Maynard Hutchins and Mortimer Adler, vol. 28. Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica.Google Scholar
  17. Grierson, Herbert J.C. (ed). 1912. Donne’s poetical works. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Harkness, Deborah. 1999. John Dee’s conversations with angels: Cabala, alchemy, and the end of nature. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. ———. 2007. The jewel house: Elizabethan London and the scientific revolution. New Haven: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Harvey, Gabriel. 1884. The works of Gabriel Harvey, ed. Alexander B. Grosart, vol. 1. New York: AMS Press, 1966.Google Scholar
  21. Hirsch, David A. Hedrich. 1991. Donne’s atomies and anatomies: Deconstructed bodies and the resurrection of atomic theory. SEL 31(1): 69–94.Google Scholar
  22. Hutchison, Keith. 1997. What happened to occult qualities in the scientific revolution? In The scientific enterprise in early modern Europe: Readings from Isis, ed. Peter Dear, 86–106. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  23. Kepler, Johannes. 1937–. Gesammelte Werke, vol. 15, Briefe 1604–1607, ed. Max Caspar, 22 vols. Munich: C.H. Beck’sche.Google Scholar
  24. Manley, Frank (ed). 1963. John Donne: The anniversaries. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.Google Scholar
  25. Marchitello, Howard. 2011. The machine in the text: Science and literature in the age of Shakespeare and Galileo. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Marotti, Arthur F. 1986. John Donne, coterie poet. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press.Google Scholar
  27. Martin, Catherine Gimelli. 2014. Milton’s and Donne’s stargazing lovers, aex, and the new astronomy. SEL 54(1): 143–171.Google Scholar
  28. Nicolson, Marjorie H. 1948. Voyages to the moon. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  29. Popper, Nicholas. 2005. The English polydaedali: How Gabriel Harvey read late Tudor London. Journal of the History of Ideas 66(3): 351–381.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Pumphrey, Stephen, and David Riley. ‘England’s first copernican: A new text by Thomas Digges on the “New Star” of 1572.’ Lancaster University Reprints, available at eprints.lancs.ac.uk/969.Google Scholar
  31. Recorde, Robert. 1556. The castle of knowledge. London.Google Scholar
  32. Shakelton, Francis. 1580. A blazying starre or burnyng beacon. London.Google Scholar
  33. Spenser, Edmund. 1977. The Faerie Queene, ed. A.C. Hamilton. London: Longman.Google Scholar
  34. Stone, Christopher. 2011. John Donne and the astronomers in Ignatius his conclave. John Donne Journal 30: 51–63.Google Scholar
  35. Sugg, Richard. 2007. John Donne: Critical issues. Houndmills and New York: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Stern, Virginia F. 1979. Gabriel Harvey: His life, marginalia, and library. Oxford: Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  37. Stow, John. 1603. A survey of London.Google Scholar
  38. Targoff, Ramie. 2008. John Donne, body and soul. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary Thomas Crane
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston CollegeBostonUSA

Personalised recommendations