Henry S. Turner

research, publications, teaching

Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity

For more than a decade, I coedited a book series at Ashgate Press with Mary Thomas Crane entitled Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity.  The series provided a forum for groundbreaking work on the relations between literary, scientific, and medical discourses in Europe, during a period when these fields were in a crucial moment of historical formation. It published books that address the many overlaps between modes of imaginative writing typical of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries—poetics, rhetoric, prose narrative, dramatic production, utopia—and the vocabularies, conceptual models, and intellectual methods of newly emergent “scientific” fields such as medicine, astronomy, astrology, alchemy, psychology, mapping, mathematics, or natural history. In order to reflect the nature of intellectual inquiry during the period, the series was interdisciplinary in orientation and published monographs, edited collections, and selected critical editions of primary texts relevant to an understanding of the mutual implication of literary and scientific epistemologies.

The series published more than 30 titles, with several prize-winning books among them.  In 2015, Ashgate was acquired by Routledge.  For more information, please contact me by email.

Congratulations to Kevin Killeen, whose Biblical Scholarship, Science and Politics in Early Modern England: Thomas Browne and the Thorny Place of Knowledge (Ashgate, 2009; LSCEM Series) won the 2010 Council for College and University English Book Prize, awarded annually for the best scholarly book in the field of English studies by an early-career academic.

And congratulations to Leah Knight, whose Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England (Ashgate, 2009; LSCEM Series) won the 2009 Book Prize from the British Society for Literature and Science.  “All the judges for this year’s BSLS book prize agreed wholeheartedly that Leah Knight’s Of Books and Botany in Early Modern England was a very worthy winner. Knight’s book is a fascinating contribution to the study of literature and science in the early modern period. Elegantly written and meticulous in its scholarship, it opens up the field of botany in the sixteenth century for literary analysis and cultural history, drawing out too how central early modern thinking about plants was to print culture as a whole.”

“As well as being an excellent contribution to the field in its own right, Of Books and Botany is one of an important new series of books on Literary and Scientific Cultures of Early Modernity published by Ashgate. Ashgate has been leading the field in publishing books on literature and science, and it is extremely encouraging to see research into literature and science in the early modern period getting the same serious consideration and support as work in this same field in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.” —John Robert Holmes, Chair of the judges for the BSLS Book Prize for 2009.

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