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‘A Fresh Reading Of Books’: Some Note-Taking Practices Of Thomas Browne

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Chapter Summary

Thomas Browne?s published writings are clearly the fruits of careful reading and close observation. These activities are partly documented in his extant note-books, a collection of bound and composite manuscript volumes that date mainly from the last twenty years of his life. The surviving volumes include observations on medicine, natural history and language, extracts from other authors? works, details of foreign customs, copies of letters and verses, recipes and reflections on moral themes. This chapter discusses some notes of a particular kind, those taken from Browne?s own reading. The author briefly summarizes the character of the note-books. Browne?s extant notes form part of a larger collection of unpublished material that he left at his death in 1682.

Keywords: manuscript volumes; note-book; Thomas Browne



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