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Reading travels in the culture of curiosity: Thévenot's collection of voyages

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image of Journal of Early Modern History

This article explores the circulation and use of travel writings within the seventeenth-century "culture of curiosity", focusing on a figure at the heart of this milieu, Melchisédech Thévenot (? 1622–1692), and his edited Relations de divers voyages curieux (1663–1672). The Thévenot case reveals the importance of travel writing for the scholarly community in a period when the modern boundaries between disciplines were not yet formed, and when the nature of geographical knowledge was undergoing radical change. The collection, discussion and publication of the travel collection are shown to be part of the program of Thévenot's experimental "assembly" to investigate the "arts".


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