Sir Thomas Browne


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Browne, Sir Thomas,

1605–82, English author and physician, b. London, educated at Oxford and abroad, knighted (1671) by Charles II. His Religio Medici, in which Browne attempted to reconcile science and religion, was written about 1635. After circulating in manuscript, it was first published in a pirated edition (1642); an authorized edition followed (1643). Inspired by the discovery of funeral urns near Norwich, he wrote Hydriotaphia: Urn Burial (1658), a solemn reflection on death and immortality, in which he expressed a belief in the futility of things here on earth. Published with Urn Burial was the more optimistic The Garden of Cyrus, a work devoted to the mystic symbolism of the number five. Browne's philosophy is now primarily of historical interest. It is the quality of his faith and, particularly, his elegant mode of expression that make him one of the outstanding figures in the history of English literature. His other notable works are Pseudodoxia Epidemica (1646), commonly known as Vulgar Errors, and Christian Morals (1716). Browne coined more than 750 English words including electricity, medical, hallucination, and ferocious.

Bibliography

See edition of his works (ed. by G. Keynes, 6 vol., 1928–31); biographies by J. S. Finch (1950) and J. F. Post (1987); biographical study by H. Aldersey-Williams (2015); studies by J. Bennett (1962), L. Nathanson (1967), and C. A. Patrides, ed. (1982).

References in periodicals archive ?
In The Miscellaneous Writings of Sir Thomas Browne.
The Strategy of Truth: A Study of Sir Thomas Browne.
Local Norfolk families (those of Carlile, Le Gros, Pettus, Burwell, Cotterell, Harman, and Adams) knew Sir Thomas Browne, and since his daughter Elizabeth lived at home from 1648 to 1681, she must have interacted with most of these people.
Hee is very old, yet very pleasant in his discourse, and hearty; hee is much followed, is a Gallenist, and doth often laugh at the chymists"; see Wilkin, Works of Sir Thomas Browne, I, 63.
At center stage here -- and stuck there virtually all night -- is real-life historical figure Sir Thomas Browne (Jonathan Hadary), once famed for his achievements as scientist, doctor, scholar and author.
If Pater had not read Saintsbury, he probably would have said in "Sir Thomas Browne," as he does, after quoting a passage from Browne, "There is the manner of Sir Thomas Browne, in exact expression of his mind
Where are these early essays on Sir Thomas Browne, on metaphor, that Borges mentions earlier in that paragraph quoted above?
The chapter looks at three shorter commentaries by Sir Thomas Browne, Stephen Jay, and Lucy Hutchinson and then moves to the larger literary projects of Hugo Grotius, Samuel Pordage, and John Dryden.
The authors whom Thoreau adapts to his own purposes include Ben Jonson, Thomas Carew, Milton, Sir Thomas Browne, Izaak Walton, and Abraham Cowley.
Another sign is the geometrical shaping of the historical argument, in which the assignation of a central position to the Licensing Act allows Gay and Lillo to confront Richardson and Fielding in a patterned symmetry which would have pleased Sir Thomas Browne.
2 The Reference Guide to Sir Thomas Browne only refers us to Howell's article.
His translations include works of Sir Thomas Browne, Samuel Butler, Walt Whitman, and James Joyce.