The Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV’s Paris.
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rom the perspective even of stay-at-home European naturalists in the seventeenth century, the world kept getting bigger as increasing animal, vegetable, and mineral evidence of its breadth and variety poured into metropolitan centers. At the same time, the technology of the microscope and the virtuoso practice of dissection (of living animals as well as corpses—Anita Guerrini argues that these practices were perceived as less distinct by her subjects, and by their private and public audiences, than has subsequently become the case) turned the attention of anatomists to things that were small and hidden. Written with interdisciplinary erudition and insight, The Courtiers’ Anatomists persuasively demonstrates that these modes of inquiry were neither independent nor inconsistent; on the contrary, they could be pursued at the same time by the same individuals. As her subtitle indicates, Guerrini does not attempt to survey Enlightenment science. Instead she focuses on a particular group of anatomists who were based in Paris and who enjoyed the support of Louis XIV.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Humanities. History Section
Oxford University Press
Ritvo, Harriet. “The Courtiers’ Anatomists: Animals and Humans in Louis XIV’s Paris. By Anita Guerrini.” Environmental History 22, 1 (October 2016): 165–167 © 2016 The Author
Author's final manuscript