Reading the Skies: A Cultural History of English Weather, 1650-1820

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University of Chicago Press, 2000 - 272 páginas
From the time of Aristotle until the late eighteenth century, meteorology meant the study of "meteors"—spectacular objects in the skies beneath the moon, which included everything from shooting stars to hailstorms. In Reading the Skies, Vladimir Jankovic traces the history of this meteorological tradition in Enlightenment Britain, examining its scientific and cultural significance.

Jankovic interweaves classical traditions, folk/popular beliefs and practices, and the increasingly quantitative approaches of urban university men to understanding the wonders of the skies. He places special emphasis on the role that detailed meteorological observations played in natural history and chorography, or local geography; in religious and political debates; and in agriculture. Drawing on a number of archival sources, including correspondence and weather diaries, as well as contemporary pamphlets, tracts, and other printed sources reporting prodigious phenomena in the skies, this book will interest historians of science, Britain, and the environment.
 

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Contenido

IMPERFECT MIXTURES
14
Meteorologica
16
Early modern meteors
22
A dominion of exhalations
28
OBSERVING THE EXTRAORDINARY
33
Wonders marvels and ominous meteors
36
Vulgar Baconians
44
Rehabilitating the unusual
50
The Rev Borlase and his network of correspondents
105
Calendars diaries narratives
113
Stationary intelligencers
120
RUSTIC SEASONS
125
An impasse in theory
126
The weather in order
129
Shepherds as experts
131
A return to the ancients
137

PUBLIC METEORS
55
Providential visitations
56
The Great Storm
59
Aerial appearances and astounding apparitions
64
Lord Derwentwaters lights
68
MEMORIALS OF UNCOMMON ACCIDENTS
78
Curious plotting
81
Collectable weather
90
The common voice
97
PROVINCIAL WEATHER
103
LABORATORY ATMOSPHERES
143
Electrification
146
Chemical hegemony
151
What is in a name?
154
Weather remodeled
156
CONCLUSION
165
Meteoric phenomena reported by individuals between 1694 and 1795
169
NOTES
176
BIBLIOGRAPHY
235
INDEX
265

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Página 1 - Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.

Acerca del autor (2000)

Vladimir Jankovic is a lecturer in the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine at the University of Manchester.

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