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His Collection of Rare Books and Art Treasures
Peter Mohr

David Lloyd Roberts MRCS LSA MD FRCP FRS.Edin (1834–1920) was a successful Manchester doctor who made significant contributions to the advancement of gynaecology and obstetrics. His career was closely linked to the Manchester St Mary’s Hospital for Women and Children, 1858–1920. He lectured on midwifery at Owens College and the University of Manchester and was gynaecological surgeon to Manchester Royal Infirmary. He had many interests outside medicine, including a large collection of rare books, paintings and antiques. He produced an edition of Thomas Browne’s Religio Medici (1898) and a paper, The Scientific Knowledge of Dante (1914). He donated his books to the John Rylands Library and the London Royal College of Physician, his paintings to the Manchester Art Gallery, and he left a large endowment to Bangor College, Wales. This article reviews his medical work alongside his legacy to literature, the arts and education.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Paul Edmondson
Kevin Colls
, and
William Mitchell

, Alexander returneth into dust, the dust is earth, of earth we are loam, and why of that loam whereto he was converted might they not stop a beer-barrel?’ (5.1.204–7). The philosopher, physician and polymath Sir Thomas Browne (1605–82) might have been thinking about Hamlet when writing his own meditation on mortality, Hydriotaphia, Urn Burial, or a discourse on the sepulchral urns latterly found in

in Finding Shakespeare’s New Place
Revising Religio Medici in the English Revolution
Matthew C. Augustine

Only a generation ago, the writings of Thomas Browne, the Norwich physician and polymath most famous for his Religio Medici (1642/3), seemed to be of little more than antiquarian interest, potshards of the Renaissance baroque stuck up in the nascent soil of the English civil war and of the modernity that conflict heralded. In the early 1970s, Cecil A. Sloane could blandly observe that ‘despite the religious and political upheavals of seventeenth-century England, Browne makes no reference to contemporary social events in his formal writings

in Aesthetics of contingency
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Historicism, whither wilt?
Christopher D’Addario

attends rather to a particular place and the intellectual and cultural productions that emanate from its environs. For example, Norwich and its nearby towns in England have been at one time or another the home of Thomas Nashe and Ian McEwan, Julian of Norwich and Kazuo Ishiguro, Thomas Browne and W. G. Sebald. I will turn my attention to the last two in a moment, but let me delay the present for a minute by pausing over the possibility of a study that connects all of the above authors through their geographic proximity, that examines the literary output of a specific

in Texts and readers in the Age of Marvell
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The entwined narratives of W. G. Sebald and H. G. Adler
Peter Filkins

of Austerlitz. However, as we all know, there is frequently more than meets the eye in Sebald, and Adler himself is no exception. For if Vladmir Nabokov is the presiding spirit over The Emigrants, and Kaf ka is the muse of Vertigo, and Freud and Sir Thomas Browne are the inspiration for The Rings of Saturn, Marcel Atze has also pointed out that not only is Adler’s Theresienstadt 1941–1945 a key text for Austerlitz, but so too are Adler’s Eine Reise (1962) and Die unsichtbare Wand (1989) (Adler 2004: 17–30). Atze also contends that the ‘hybrid form of paraphrase and

in A literature of restitution
Stephen Orgel

accounting for Sir Thomas Browne’s extraordinary effusion on plagiarism, which I cited in the influential essay but didn’t spend much time over, and which has continued to fascinate me. Something did change in the seventeenth century. In Chapter 6 of the Pseudodoxia Epidemica Browne deplores “a peremptory adhesion unto Authority, and more especially the establishing of our belief upon the dictates of

in Spectacular Performances
Angie Blumberg

for the work of eighteenth-century antiquarian Johann Joachim Winckelmann is well known. However, Pater was also deeply inspired by the prose of seventeenth-century English polymath Thomas Browne, whose works he praises in Appreciations (1889). Pater lauds Browne’s 1658 archaeological tract, Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial —Browne’s meditation on a collection of Saxon burial

in British literature and archaeology, 1880– 1930
Marina Warner
Dan Smith

has flown.  DS: This preoccupation still persists today in popular culture. An example would be the film 21 Grams [2003], which takes its title from a 1907 experiment to determine the weight of the soul. It posits as fact the claims made by Duncan MacDougall that he had determined an average loss of mass in humans after death. These claims, despite no scientific credibility, have somehow survived as popular myths.  MW: The idea of this spark or essence can be seen in the experiments Thomas Browne conducted with animals in the seventeenth century. He would weigh a

in The machine and the ghost
Tamsin Badcoe

For as directly to walke is good, and to goe astraye daungerous: so to be moved with affections to a good purpose is commendable, but to an yll ende and purpose altogether damnable. 1 wee finde no open tract, or constant manuduction in this labyrinth; but are oft-times faine to wander in the America and untravelled parts of truth. 2 As Thomas Browne observes in his preface to Pseudodoxia Epidemica , the obstructions of erroneous common knowledge cannot be traversed merely by corrective recollection: ‘Would truth dispense, we could be

in Edmund Spenser and the romance of space
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Jean R. Brink

William Camden, Tomus alter idem: or, The historie of the life and reigne of that famous princess, Elizabeth … Trans. Thomas Browne, fourth part of Camden's Annales rerum … covering the years 1589–1603 (London: Printed by Tho. Harper for William Web, 1629). RB 600237. The Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. 3

in The early Spenser, 1554–80