The Cosmographical Glass: Renaissance Diagrams of the Universe
Written by: S. K. Heninger Jr.
Category: Huntington Collections
Format: paperback, 232 pages, 8-1/2 x 11 inches, 154 b/w illustrations
Release Date: 2005-01-15
About this Book
What are the parts of the universe? How are they arranged? Where are its center and its boundaries? What forces control its motion? Cosmographical Glass features more than 100 astronomical and mythical diagrams from books printed before 1700, revealing how people of the Renaissance answered these complicated questions. Throughout this period, which one historian has called "the most psychically disturbed era in European history," the universe was depicted as a rational arrangement of disparate parts. The author bridges the gap between the Renaissance and today by explaining in detail these astronomical, mythical, and alchemical maps of the universe.
About the Author
S. K. Heninger Jr. is a former Alumni Distinguished Professor of English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is the author of Touches of Sweet Harmony: Pythagorean Cosmology and Renaissance Poetics, The Handbook of Renaissance Meteorology, and Sidney and Spenser: The Poet as Maker. He specializes in literature of the English Renaissance.
Reviews of The Cosmographical Glass:
"A remarkably clear picture of Renaissance culture through its imaginative speculations on the order of the universe, and a valuable addition to the growing body of work which is examining the magical and metaphorical bases of early modern science."—The Sixteenth Century Journal
"Each figure is analyzed and set in context by . . . a connected and readable exposition illustrated in detail."—Scientific American
"Will be of great interest not only to students of Renaissance cosmology but also to anyone interested in the arts that influenced and were influenced by cosmology."—Shakespeare Quarterly
"Professor Heninger has produced not only a very beautiful and interesting book, but one which makes easily accessible to all readers much information concerning pre-modern astronomy and geography."—University of Toronto Quarterly
"Heninger has used the fine resources of the Huntington Library to produce scholarship which begins in the small detail of a picture and ends in a view of the entire universe."—Milton Quarterly
“This large-folio, profusely illustrated, and beautifully designed work has always wanted to be a coffee table book. But its sheer excellence as a resource both for teaching and stimulating research has, in this reviewer’s experience, put paid to that idea. Now, after a quarter century, The Cosmographical Glass had been reprinted in paperback and still at a bargain price. The Huntington Library has given us a handsome book, its design pleasing in typography and layout, its figures and plates, some of them exemplifying the best of the Renaissance engraver’s art, shapely and admirably reproduced… As Heninger has pointed out, what emerges from this book is no one monolithic conception of the cosmos but rather a rich discourse arising from varying opinions among cosmologists, resulting in a multiplicity of systems.“ –Seventeenth-Century News