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Weighing Fire

European Lives in Eighteenth-Century Literature and Science

Michael Rand Hoare

This work is Volume 1 of an extensive two-volume monograph on the interplay of science and literature in Europe from the eighteenth to the early twentieth centuries. It comprises a series of some twenty biographies raisonnées of literary figures known to have had fascination for, at times an obsession with, science. The linguistic base is broad, primarily French, German and English, but with excursions into Italian, Spanish and Russian. Alongside outstanding individuals, the work chronicles the intellectual movements Naturphilosophie, Naturalism, Positivism, etc., which literature gave rise to through its interaction with science.

Contents: Introduction – Voltaire and the Marquise: The Idyll at Cirey – Lomonosov: Giant without a Shadow – Algarotti: Newton and the Bolognese Enlightenment – Goethe: The Romantic Allure – Novalis: The Dark Jewel in the Crown – Goethe: The Mantle of Faust – Diderot: The Impertinent – Erasmus Darwin: Lunar Man – Lichtenberg: Göttingen and Wit – Coleridge: The Inward Querist – Ancients to Moderns: Enlightenment and Romance.