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    German receptions of the works of Joseph Glanvill: philosophical transmissions from England to Germany in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth century
    DAVIES, J (Informa UK, 2016)
    The Royal Society of London, founded for the collaborative advancement of knowledge of the natural world, was famous for its advocacy of experimental scientific methodologies in the late seventeenth century. The product of an intellectual climate which produced some of the most influential thinkers of the age, the Royal Society is often credited with leading the development of the modern scientific method. Indeed, this view was perpetuated by the Society itself through the propagandistic works it commissioned, particularly: Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal Society (1667) and Joseph Glanvill’s Plus ultra (1668). In this paper, I will trace the reactions of some of Germany’s pre-eminent philosophers, including Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Jakob Thomasius and his son, Christian Thomasius and Georg Daniel Morhof to the Plus ultra. In the process, I will consider how this work, and the Royal Society more broadly, is represented in several discourses, which were significant to the development of German philosophy. Then, I will explore how Glanvill’s philosophical reputation in this context is connected to the later spread of the German translation of his Saducismus triumphatus (1701). As yet, little is known about Glanvill’s influence beyond England, and work on this subject is perhaps of most significance to the development of a comprehensive understanding of the impact of his work. Nevertheless, tracing the influence of his works in German debates also provides an interesting perspective on the German reactions to the Royal Society’s experimental method and its relationship to the supernatural.
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    Botanizing at Badminton House: The Botanical Pursuits of Mary Somerset, First Duchess of Beaufort
    DAVIES, J ; Opitz, DL ; Bergwik, S ; Van Tiggelen, B (Palgrave Macmillan, 2016)
    In the last decades of the seventeenth century, Mary Somerset, the third Marchioness of Worcester and first Duchess of Beaufort, actively collected, identified, and classified thousands of plants from around the world. She worked with her gardener, George Adams, and several famous botanists to grow, study, catalogue, distribute, dry, and paint her specimens. Friends, family, and colleagues from both Oxford and the Royal Society of London contributed to her collection. Yet she also obtained many plants and seeds through conventional garden suppliers, and she commissioned agents to hunt down and collect specimens within the British Isles and abroad. The report of just one such shipment, received in 1696, indicates that she had hundreds of seeds, leaves, cuttings, saplings, and even several large trees shipped to her from Barbados. This particular consignment was so large that the first 11 tubs were split between five ships, with eight more promised in the next fleet. Each tub was large enough to contain, in one instance, one fern tree, seven water common trees, and one white mangrove tree, and, in another, one great bay tree and 50 saplings.1 In this way, Somerset amassed an exceptionally large and diverse collection of plants at the family estate of Badminton House in Gloucestershire, which provided the foundation for her botanical pursuits.