Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation: Studies in Intellectual Communication

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $75.00
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 57%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (6) from $75.00   
  • New (3) from $148.41   
  • Used (3) from $75.00   


In the intellectual change that took place in the seventeenth century, the role of Samuel Hartlib was of immense significance. As John Milton put it, he was sent 'hither by some good providence from a farre country to be the occasion and the incitement of great good to this Hand'. Hartlib (originally from Elbing) settled in England in the late 1620s and lived there until his death in 1662. His aspirations formed a distinctive and influential strand in English intellectual life during those revolutionary decades. This volume reflects the variety of the theoretical and practical interests of Hartlib's circle and presents them in their continental context. The editors of the volume are all attached to the Hartlib Papers Project at the University of Sheffield, a major collaborative research effort to exploit the (largely untapped) resources of the surviving Hartlib manuscripts. In an introduction to the volume they explore the background to the Hartlib circle and provide the context in which the essays should be read.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This is a stimulating book....richly rewarding for those who want to move beyond the university-Westminster axis into the lives and concerns of seventeenth-century British intellectuals, reformers, and visionaries." James B. McSwain, Sixteenth Century Journal

"...those who take the subtitle seriously will find a number of fascinating "studies in intellectual communication." Stanford Lehmberg, Rebaissance Quarterly

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521452526
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 12/28/1994
  • Pages: 394
  • Product dimensions: 5.98 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Table of Contents

List of illustrations
Notes on the contributors
Textual note and note on dates
List of abbreviations
Introduction 1
The search for method 27
1 Philosophical pedagogy in reformed central Europe between Ramus and Comenius: a survey of the continental background of the 'Three Foreigners' 29
2 In search of 'The True Logick': methodological eclecticism among the 'Baconian reformers' 51
3 Comenius and his ideals: escape from the labyrinth 75
Millenarianism and the quest for religious unity 93
4 'The Unchanged Peacemaker'? John Dury and the politics of irenicism in England, 1628-1643 95
5 Hartlib, Dury and the Jews 118
6 Millenarianism and the new science: the case of Robert Boyle 137
Secrecy vs. openness 149
7 Closed and open languages: Samuel Hartlib's involvement with cryptology and universal languages 151
8 Language as the product and mediator of knowledge: the concept of J. A. Comenius 162
Authorship and ownership 175
9 Milton among the monopolists: Areopagitica, intellectual property and the Hartlib circle 177
10 George Starkey and the selling of secrets 193
Natural philosophies 211
11 Benjamin Worsley: engineering for universal reform from the Invisible College to the Navigation Act 213
12 New light on Benjamin Worsley's natural philosophy 236
13 'These 2 hundred years not the like published as Gellibrand has done de Magnete': the Hartlib circle and magnetic philosophy 247
14 Technology transfer and scientific specialization: Johann Wiesel, optician of Augsburg, and the Hartlib circle 268
Improvement in Ireland 279
15 The Hartlib circle and the cult and culture of improvement in Ireland 281
16 Natural history and historical nature: the project for a natural history of Ireland 298
Town and country 319
17 Hortulan affairs 321
18 'Another epocha'? Hartlib, John Lanyon and the improvement of London in the 1650s 343
Appendix: Copy in a scribal hand of a letter from John Beale, probably to John Evelyn, 30 September 1659 357
Index 365
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)