The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century | Granta

  • Published: 03/03/2016
  • ISBN: 9781847089021
  • 129x20mm
  • 352 pages

The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century

Hugh Aldersey-Williams

A profound and delightful jeu d’esprit of a book, mixing biography, etymology, cultural history and quixotic scientific experiments. Aldersey-Williams pulls the unfairly neglected yet enormously influential writer Thomas Browne out of the obscure pages of Pseudodoxia Epidemica and into the 21st century, to apply his generous curiosity and rational intelligence to the vagaries and contradictions of life today. Browne has had some impressive fans (Sebald, Woolf, Borges, Poe, Marias) but this book will revive him, bringing his extraordinary genius to a whole new audience.

A wonderfully erratic, promenading book, in which we see how different, yet how similar we still are today to that most serene, most enigmatic science pioneer and literary master, Sir Thomas Browne, whose prose style is one of the highest peaks in English literature, according to Borges and to my humble self

Javier Marias

[A] delightfully eccentric homage... The Adventures of Sir Thomas Browne in the 21st Century is a triumph. With humour, humility (from the Latin humus, earth) and intelligent generosity, Aldersey-Williams brings Sir Thomas splendidly to life, urns and all

Ian Thompson, Financial Times

[A] richly detailed book... Written with passion and affection... Its greatest virtue is that you come away from it liking both Browne and Aldersey-Williams... A delightful read

Colin Burrow, Guardian

The Author

Hugh Aldersey-Williams is a writer and curator with interests ranging from science to architecture and design. His prolific career as a freelance journalist included a five-year stint as the design critic of the New Statesman. He lives in Norwich and has for many years been an unreasoning Thomas Browne obsessive.

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