Browne, Sir Thomas
born Oct. 19, 1605, London, Eng.died Oct. 19, 1682, Norwich, NorfolkBritish physician and author.While practicing medicine, he began a parallel career as a writer. His best-known work, Religio Medici (1642), is a journal of reflections on the mysteries of God, nature, and man. A larger work commonly known as Browne's Vulgar Errors (1646) attempted to correct popular beliefs and superstitions. He also wrote treatises on antiquarian subjects and the beautiful and subtle A Letter to a Friend (1690).
* * *▪ English authorborn Oct. 19, 1605, Londondied Oct. 19, 1682, Norwich, Norfolk, Eng.English physician and author, best known for his book of reflections, Religio Medici.After studying at Winchester and Oxford, Browne probably was an assistant to a doctor near Oxford. After taking his M.D. at Leiden in 1633, he practiced at Shibden Hall near Halifax, in Yorkshire, from 1634, until he was admitted as an M.D. at Oxford; he settled in Norwich in 1637. At Shibden Hall Browne had begun his parallel career as a writer with Religio Medici, a journal largely about the mysteries of God, nature, and man, which he himself described as “a private exercise directed to myself.” It circulated at first only in manuscript among his friends. In 1642, however, it was printed without his permission in London and so had to be acknowledged, an authorized version being published in 1643. An immediate success in England, the book soon circulated widely in Europe in a Latin translation and was also translated into Dutch and French.Browne began early to compile notebooks of miscellaneous jottings and, using these as a quarry, he compiled his second and larger work, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, or, Enquiries into Very many received Tenets, and commonly presumed truths (1646), often known as Browne's Vulgar Errors. In it he tried to correct many popular beliefs and superstitions. In 1658 he published his third book, two treatises on antiquarian subjects, Hydriotaphia, Urne-Buriall, or, A Discourse of the Sepulchrall Urnes lately found in Norfolk, and The Garden of Cyrus, or the Quincunciall Lozenge, or Net-Work Plantations of the Ancients. Around the theme of the urns he wove a tissue of solemn reflections on death and the transience of human fame in his most luxuriant style; in The Garden, in which he traces the history of horticulture from the garden of Eden to the Persian gardens in the reign of Cyrus, he is especially fascinated by the quincunx. A smaller work of great beauty and subtlety, entitled A Letter to a Friend, Upon occasion of the Death of his Intimate Friend, was published posthumously in 1690.Browne had always been a Royalist, and his fame both as doctor and as writer gained him a knighthood when Charles II visited Norwich in 1671. He seldom left the city but corresponded with such men of learning as John Evelyn, Sir William Dugdale, and John Aubrey. Most of his surviving letters, however, were written to his eldest son, Edward Browne, and these give an intimate picture of his medical practice and his relations with his family. Browne has been criticized for the part he played in 1664 as a witness in the condemnation of two women as witches.The first edition of Browne's collected works was published in 1686; the standard edition (including letters) is Works, edited by Geoffrey Keynes, 4 vol., new ed. (1964). Keynes also compiled A Bibliography of Sir Thomas Browne Kt. M.D., 2nd ed. rev. and augmented (1968).Additional ReadingBrowne's life and work are discussed in Joan Bennett, Sir Thomas Browne: A Man of Achievement in Literature (1962); Frank L. Huntley, Sir Thomas Browne: A Biographical and Critical Study (1962); and Jonathan F.S. Post, Sir Thomas Browne (1987).
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Browne,Sir Thomas — Browne, Sir Thomas. 1605 1682. English physician and writer known for the richness of his prose in works such as Religio Medici (1642), an attempt to reconcile Christian faith with scientific knowledge. * * * … Universalium
Browne, Sir Thomas — (1605–82) Philosopher and Scientist. Browne studied medicine at the Universities of Oxford, Montpellier, Padua and Leyden. From 1637 he lived in Norwich where he practised as a doctor. He is remembered as the author of the Religio Medici in … Who’s Who in Christianity
Browne, Sir Thomas — (9 oct. 1605, Londres, Inglaterra–19 oct. 1682, Norwich, Norfolk). Médico y escritor británico. Mientras practicaba la medicina, desarrolló una carrera paralela como escritor. Su trabajo más conocido, Religio Medici (1642), es un diario de… … Enciclopedia Universal
BROWNE, SIR THOMAS — physician and religious thinker, born in London; resided at Norwich for nearly half a century, and died there; was knighted by Charles II.; was, Professor Saintsbury says, the greatest prose writer perhaps, when all things are taken together,… … The Nuttall Encyclopaedia
Browne, Sir Thomas — (1605 1682) Physician and miscellaneous and metaphysical writer, s. of a London merchant, was ed. at Winchester and Oxf., after which he studied medicine at various Continental univs., including Leyden, where he grad. He ultimately settled and … Short biographical dictionary of English literature
Browne, Sir Thomas — (1605 1882) London born physician, poet and author, from a Cheshire family. Educated at Winchester College and Pembroke College, Oxford, he received his medical degree from Leiden, Holland, and lived and died in Norfolk. His famous treatise… … British and Irish poets
Sir Thomas Brown — Thomas Browne Pour les articles homonymes, voir Browne. Sir Thomas Browne Sir Thomas Browne (19 octobre … Wikipédia en Français
Sir Thomas Adams's Professor of Arabic — The Sir Thomas Adams s Professorship of Arabic is the senior professorship in Arabic at the University of Cambridge.One of the oldest professorships in Cambridge, the chair was founded by Sir Thomas Adams in 1643, with the stipend paid by the… … Wikipedia
Sir Thomas Browne — Arte El arte es la perfección de la naturaleza. La naturaleza hizo un mundo y el arte otro. Bondad El que tiene lo bastante para poder hacer bien a otros, es rico. Crítica El que censura a los demás, indirectamente se alaba a sí mismo. Saber No… … Diccionario de citas
Library of Sir Thomas Browne — No single document gives better evidence of the erudition of Sir Thomas Browne, physician, philosopher and encyclopedist than the 1711 Sales Auction Catalogue of the Library of Sir Thomas Browne . It also provides an insight into the… … Wikipedia