qatsi (qatsi) wrote,
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The King's Library

Book Review: Enlightenment - Discovering the World in the Eighteenth Century, edited by Kim Sloan
This book was published in 2003 to coincide with the reopening of the King's Library in the British Museum. As a coffee-table book, it is quite successful; but I have to admit it's a rather dry read. Perhaps it's simply the scope of the endeavour - sections on the Natural World, the Artificial World, the Ancient and Classical World, and Voyages of Discovery. It's true that some names (most notably Sir Hans Sloane and Sir Joseph Banks) recur over and over again in these different spheres, but there isn't an overall narrative; the collection of chapters is clearly by diverse hands. I found the Natural History sections the most interesting.
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