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Claire Preston's Bee tells the busy story of our long, complex relationship with this industrious, much-admired insect. Moving from ancient political descriptions to Renaissance debates about monarchy, to the conversion of the virtuous and civil bee into the dangerous swarm of the Hollywood horror flick, and finally to the melancholy recognition that the modern decline of the bee is due to our use of harmful pesticides and destruction of the bee's habitat, this timely new edition could not arrive at a moment of greater buzz. Lively, engaging, and containing many fascinating bee facts, anecdotes, fables, and images, Bee is a sweeping, highly illustrated natural and cultural history of this familiar visitor to our gardens and parks. From beekeepers to anyone with an interest in bees' intricate, miniature societies, to all of us who enjoy honey on our toast, the appeal of Preston's exploration of how bees have woven themselves into the fabric of our culture is as expansive as the range and importance of these tiny workaholics themselves.
The bee is not a domestic animal, yet our relationship with this creature is one of the longest-standing between humanity and any other species. Since the earliest times the unique manufacturing and architectural abilities of the bee and its remarkable social organization have been regarded as miraculous. Because of this ancient relationship, bees always carry profound cultural meanings which can tell us much about who we are. Bees are also the subject of an enormous body of legend throughout the temperate world; no less extraordinary is the natural history of the bee, and the ways in which its biological and social organization have been adapted and encouraged by mankind in search of honey.Claire Preston's "Bee" follows the natural and cultural history of our relationship with the bee and the development of these legends, from ancient political descriptions of the bee to Renaissance debates about monarchy, and the accompanying scientific discoveries about insects, to the modern conversion of the virtuous, civil bee into the dangerous swarm of the Hollywood horror flick, and finally to the melancholy recognition that the scientific study of bee behavior gives us a warning to beware our own awful technologies of destruction. Written in a lively, engaging style, and containing many fascinating bee facts, anecdotes, fables, and images, Bee is also a wide-ranging, highly-illustrated meditation on the natural and cultural history of this familiar and much-admired insect. It will appeal to a wide audience: those who work with bees and in honey production; those who appreciate this industrious creature and its intricate, miniature society; and, those too who have an interest in the way animals such as the bee have woven themselves into the fabric of our culture.
With its cartoons and 'quick scan' format, this maintenance manual is an instant personal reference for anyone exiting menopause with vaginal miseries. 'Happy Vaginas for the Over 40s' provides tips for DIY fixing of common vaginal problems and highlights the 'must get medical help' ones. This light hearted read helps you to soothe your way to a juicier vagina and more comfortable sex while providing proven ways to keep your 'lady garden' flourishing for the rest of her days. 'Happy Vaginas for the Over 40s' is for the average goddess, mother, lover, grannie and 'single again' darling who would appreciate some private, practical, self help support for their 'Department of the Interior'.
Claire Preston argues that Thomas Browne's work can be fully understood only within the range of disciplines and practices associated with natural philosophy and early modern empiricism. Early modern methods of cataloguing, collecting, experimentation and observation organised his writing on many subjects from medicine and botany to archaeology and antiquarianism. Browne framed philosophical concerns in the terms of civil behaviour, with collaborative networks of intellectual exchange, investigative selflessness, courtesy, modesty and ultimately the generosity of the natural world itself, all characterising the return to 'innocent' knowledge, which, for Browne, is the proper end of human enquiry. In this major evaluation of Browne's oeuvre, Preston examines how the developing essay form, the discourse of scientific experiment, and above all Bacon's model of intellectual progress and cooperation determined the unique character of Browne's contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Doctor, linguist, scientist, natural historian, and writer of what
is probably the most stunning prose in the English language, Sir
Thomas Browne was a virtuoso in learning whose many interests form
a representative portrait of his age. To understand the period
which we more usually refer to as the Civil War, the Restoration,
or the Scientific Revolution, we need to understand parts of the
intellectual and spiritual background that are often neglected and
which Browne magnificently figures forth.
Claire Preston argues that Thomas Browne's work can be fully understood only within the range of disciplines and practices associated with natural philosophy and early modern empiricism. Early modern methods of cataloguing, collecting, experimentation and observation, organised his writing on many subjects from medicine and botany to archaeology and antiquarianism. Browne framed philosophical concerns in the terms of civil behaviour, with collaborative networks of intellectual exchange, investigative selflessness, courtesy, modesty, and ultimately the generosity of the natural world itself all characterising the return to 'innocent' knowledge, which, for Browne, is the proper end of human enquiry. In this major new evaluation of Browne's oeuvre, Preston examines how the developing essay form, the discourse of scientific experiment, and above all Bacon's model of intellectual progress and cooperation determined the unique character of Browne's contributions to early modern literature, science and philosophy.
Sir Thomas Browne (1605-82), physician and philosopher, is celebrated principally for his "Religio Medici" and his study of burial customs, "Urn Burial", masterpieces of English prose. But a portrait of Browne as a 17th-century intellectual must include much that is rarely seen except by specialists. The "Pseudodoxia Epidemica", for example, tracts, letters to naturalists and antiquarians, notebooks and observations on natural history, are neglected. This modernised edition includes the complete text of "Urn Burial", selections from "Religio Medici", and much else to give account of Browne as doctor, scientist, philosopher, Christian, political and social being. Designed for those unfamiliar with Browne's sometimes opaque prose, it includes substantial annotation and a full introduction.
The writing of science in the period 1580-1700 is artfully, diffidently, carelessly, boldly, and above all self-consciously literary. The Poetics of Scientific Investigation in Seventeenth-Century English Literature considers the literary textures of science writing - its rhetorical figures, neologisms, its uses of parody, romance, and various kinds of verse. The experimental and social practices of science are examined through literary representations of the laboratory, of collaborative retirement, of virtual, epistolary conversation, and of an imagined paradise of investigative fellowship and learning. Claire Preston argues that the rhetorical, generic, and formal qualities of scientific writing are also the intellectual processes of early-modern science itself. How was science to be written in this period? That question, which piqued natural philosophers who were searching for apt conventions of scientific language and report, was initially resolved by the humanist rhetorical and generic skills in which they were already highly trained. At the same time non-scientific writers, enthralled by the developments of science, were quick to deploy ideas and images from astronomy, optics, chemistry, biology, and medical practices. Practising scientists and inspired laymen or quasi-scientists produced new, adjusted, or hybrid literary forms, often collapsing the distinction between the factual and the imaginative, between the rhetorically ornate and the plain. Early-modern science and its literary vehicles are frequently indistinguishable, scientific practice and scientific expression mutually involved. Among the major writers discussed are Montaigne, Bacon, Donne, Browne, Lovelace, Boyle, Sprat, Oldenburg, Evelyn, Cowley, and Dryden.
Edith Wharton's wide reading in the nascent disciplines of anthropology, sociology, and evolutionary theory of her day plays a significant role in her fictions. She understood her world in binary terms of belonging and exile, or spatial boundaries and exclusions, invoking the vocabulary of tribal behavior and Darwinian thought to analyze her own world of paleo-New York and that of the transgressive invaders who threatened it. In linked thematic sections, Claire Preston considers ideas of tribal inclusion and banishment, buccaneer figures whose money-energy overcomes tribal demarcations, and expatriatism, suggesting that, against the claims of realism, Wharton should in fact be included in the early Modernist canon.
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