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From Books to Bezoars: Sir Hans Sloane and His Collections


From Books to Bezoars: Sir Hans Sloane and His Collections Cover


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

This well-illustrated volume offers fresh perspectives on the great eighteenth-century physician, naturalist, and collector Sir Hans Sloane (1660–1753), whose extensive holdings formed the basis of the British Museum and its offspring, the Natural History Museum and the British Library. The colonial milieu within which Sloane operated gets prominence here, particularly the time he spent in Jamaica. Attention is paid to his enormous network of acquaintances and correspondents throughout the world as well as to the way his collecting activities permeated every aspect of his life. Other essays consider the museum specimens accumulated by Sloane—both natural and man-made—shedding new light on his aims for acquiring and organizing them. A fascinating look at the man behind three of the United Kingdom’s most famous museums, From Books to Bezoars will appeal to students and scholars of eighteenth century studies, early modern science, and the history of the book.

About the Author

Alison Walker oversees the Sloane Printed Book Project at the British Library.

Michael Hunter is professor emeritus of history at Birkbeck, University of London.


Arthur MacGregor is a retired curator at Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.


Table of Contents




      Michael Hunter

Collecting Hans Sloane

      James Delbourgo

‘Settle in the North of Ireland: or, where did Sloane come from?

      Mark Purcell

From benefactor to entrepreneur: Sloanes literary reputation 1685-1800

      Barbara M. Benedict

Sloane and the public performance of natural history

      Kathryn James

Sloane as friend and physician of the family

      Lisa Wynne Smith

Sloane and the Dutch connection

      Eric Jorink

Sloanes travels: a colonial history of gentlemanly science

      Pratik Chakrabarti

Knowledgeable readers: Jamaican critiques of Sloanes botany

      James Robertson

Sloanes perspectives on the medical knowledge and health practices of non-Europeans

      Wendy D. Churchill

Obeah and the secret sources of Atlantic medicine

      Julie Chun Kim

‘… to be serviceable and profitable for their own health: a seventeenth-century English herbal of East Indian plants owned by Sloane

      Savithri Preetha Nair

Sloanes catalogues and the arrangement of his collections

      Marjorie Caygill

Sloanes plant specimens at the Natural History Museum

      Charlie Jarvis, Mark Spencer and Robert Huxley (with a supplementary account of Sloanes fossils by Cyrille Delmer)

The elephants in the collection: Sloane and the history of the earth

      Jill Cook

Sloanes ‘Pictures and drawings in frames and ‘Books of miniature & painting, designs, &c.

      Kim Sloan

Sloane as a collector of manuscripts

      Arnold Hunt

Sloanes incunabula

      John Goldfinch

From London to Toronto: a case-study of the dispersal of Sloanes library

      Julianne Simpson

Sloane, slavery and science: perspectives from public programmes at the Natural History Museum

      Tracy-Ann Smith and Katherine Hann

Thomas Birchs Memoirs relating to the Life of Sir Hans Sloane



Product Details

Walker, Alison
British Library
MacGregor, Arthur
Hunter, Michael
Great britain
World History-England General
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
16 color plates, 60 halftones
9 x 6 in

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History
History and Social Science » Geography » General
History and Social Science » World History » England » General

From Books to Bezoars: Sir Hans Sloane and His Collections New Hardcover
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Product details 310 pages British Library - English 9780712358804 Reviews:
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