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For the Love of Science

The Correspondence of J. H. de Magellan (1722–1790), in two volumes

Roderick W. Home, Isabel M. Malaquias and Manuel F. Thomaz

From his base in late eighteenth-century London, J. H. de Magellan corresponded with leading scientists and others in many parts of Europe, informing them of developments in British science and technology in the early years of the Industrial and Agricultural Revolutions. Intelligent, ingenious and interested in everything going on around him, Magellan was deeply committed to the Enlightenment view that the benefits flowing from human ingenuity should be made available to all mankind. Well connected both socially and within the scientific community, he made it his business to keep himself well informed about the latest advances in science and technology, and to pass on what he learned. In this remarkable correspondence, the metaphorical Republic of Letters becomes real, offering us a fascinating new view of pan-European intellectual and scientific life. Major themes are developments in scientific instrumentation and in chemistry, and the spread of steam-engine technology from England to the rest of Europe. Ranging from Stockholm and St Petersburg to Spain, Portugal and Philadelphia, the list of Magellan’s correspondents is a roll-call of the scientific luminaries of the age.

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About the Editors


Roderick W. Home was Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Melbourne, 1975–2003. He has published extensively on 18th-century science, and on the history of science in Australia.

Isabel M. Malaquias is Associate Professor at the University of Aveiro with a PhD in Physics (History and Philosophy of Physics). She has published extensively on 18th- and 19th-century science.

Manuel F. Thomaz graduated in physics and chemistry at the Lisbon Technical University in 1964 and completed his PhD in chemical physics at the University of Sheffield in 1968. He was Professor of History of Physics at the University of Aveiro, 1975–2001.

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