Synopses & Reviews
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
Collecting Hans Sloane
‘Settle in the North of Ireland: or, where did Sloane come from?
From benefactor to entrepreneur: Sloanes literary reputation 1685-1800
Barbara M. Benedict
Sloane and the public performance of natural history
Sloane as friend and physician of the family
Lisa Wynne Smith
Sloane and the Dutch connection
Sloanes travels: a colonial history of gentlemanly science
Knowledgeable readers: Jamaican critiques of Sloanes botany
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
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
Sloanes ‘Pictures and drawings in frames and ‘Books of miniature & painting, designs, &c.
Sloane as a collector of manuscripts
From London to Toronto: a case-study of the dispersal of Sloanes library
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