Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England
Patrick Curry rediscovers the history of astrology in early modern England: he seeks to overturn the accepted view that astrology was a marginal pursuit that died out after the mid-seventeenth century. Curry demonstrates that in reality astrology was a vital part of English cultural life, surviving in various forms and despite powerful opposition throughout the eighteenth century. Drawing on a wide range of unpublished primary sources, he examines the heyday of astrology, its practitioners, clients, and critics--and the power struggles that characterized its development in the midseventeenth century. He analyzes the subsequent decline of astrology in early modern England, showing how most astrological practice was marginalized, or, among the elite, absorbed into the development of Newtonian natural philosophy. This accessible work provides a picture of the values of a complex and important age. Informed by an awareness of contemporary debates in history and social theory, it will appeal to social historians and to students and researchers in the history and philosophy of science and the history of ideas, as well as the general reader interested in astrology.
′... a fascinating account ...′ London Review of Books
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