Literature & science

losing touchIn her book Losing Touch with Nature: Literature and the New Science in Sixteenth-Century England (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014), Rattigan Professor of English Mary Crane looks at the works of English writers such as Edmund Spenser, Christopher Marlowe, William Shakespeare to determine how 16th-century writers grappled with the scientific revolution. During this time, the dominant Aristotelian picture of nature, which aligned with intuition and ordinary perceptual experience, was falling away due to the discoveries of modern science. Crane breaks new ground by arguing that 16th-century ideas about the universe were actually much more sophisticated, rational and observation-based than many literary critics have assumed. Crane talks about her book with Brendan Rapple of BC Libraries, which she credits for providing her with online access to early English books. Crane is the director of the Institute for the Liberal Arts at Boston College.

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