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Curiosity : a cultural history of early modern inquiry

Author: Barbara M Benedict
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, ©2001.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
"What kind of person is curious? What makes a person or thing an object of curiosity? From Gulliver to Frankenstein, from detectives to hot air balloonists, curious and inquiring characters have been portrayed as themselves curiosities, as social upstarts, and as spectacles to behold. With Curiosity, Barbara Benedict offers a new cultural history of curiosity as it shaped English writing from the late seventeenth to  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Benedict, Barbara M.
Curiosity.
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, c2001
(OCoLC)606494374
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Barbara M Benedict
ISBN: 0226042634 9780226042633 0226042642 9780226042640
OCLC Number: 44518037
Description: ix, 321 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
Contents: List of illustrations --
Acknowledgments --
Inspecting and spectating: Monsters, rarities, and investigators --
Regulating curiosity --
Consuming curiosity --
From the curious to the curio --
Connoisseurship in the mental cabinet --
Performing curiosity --
Transgression and ambition --
Notes --
Index.
Responsibility: Barbara M. Benedict.

Abstract:

The author offers a cultural history of curiosity as it shaped English writing from the late-17th to early 19th centuries. Drawing on novels, ghost stories and travel narratives, the author argues  Read more...

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"Robinson Crusoe told us that his head was always filled 'with rembling Thoughts.' That is how he got into such trouble, but it is also the way he survived. Rambling thoughts, as Benedict shows in Read more...

 
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schema:reviewBody""What kind of person is curious? What makes a person or thing an object of curiosity? From Gulliver to Frankenstein, from detectives to hot air balloonists, curious and inquiring characters have been portrayed as themselves curiosities, as social upstarts, and as spectacles to behold. With Curiosity, Barbara Benedict offers a new cultural history of curiosity as it shaped English writing from the late seventeenth to early nineteenth centuries." "Drawing on novels both popular and obscure, ghost stories, travel narratives, trial transcripts, journalism, poems, and pornography, Benedict argues that writers of this period depicted curiosity as an unsavory form of cultural ambition. Curiosity, we learn, was persistently seen as a king of transgression that allowed curious people - scientists, collectors, and prayers of all sorts - to escape their natural places and usurp institutions, meanings, and bodies for private use." "Finely illustrated and the first of its kind, Curiosity is a broad study of modern inquiry that explores the way forbidden topics like the occult, sexuality, gender, and the origin of power became topics of public investigation."--Jacket."
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