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Sidereal messages : Print letters in Restoration astronomical writing

Title data

Klaeger, Florian:
Sidereal messages : Print letters in Restoration astronomical writing.
In: Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies. Vol. 47 (2024) Issue 1 . - pp. 59-76.
ISSN 1754-0208

Official URL: Volltext

Project information

Project title:
Project's official title
Project's id
Cosmopoetic Form-knowledge: Astronomy, Poetics, and Ideology in England, 1500 – 1800

Project financing: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft

Abstract in another language

Astronomy, a paradigmatic observational discipline of early modern ‘science’, relied on epistolary communication for coordinating practitioners across the world, publishing discoveries and theories, and seeking their confirmation from other virtuosi. Epistolary form ‘travelled’ from an individual exchange between scholars, via the print publication of such letters for the benefit of a wider readership, to the framing of bespoke isagogic textbooks. This article explores the affordances of Restoration printed astronomical letters, contrasting their performance of familiarity between sender and recipient with the public nature of the communication. By reference to letters published in the Philosophical Transactions, individual print letters, and letter-books, including Christiaan Huygens’s Cosmotheoros, the article shows how each type utilizes the familiar and the formal aspects of the letter form differently. The print letter emerges as a form uniquely suited for performing individual authority and fashioning an expert community, as well as communicating expert knowledge to non-specialists.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a journal
Refereed: Yes
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Professor English Literature
Faculties > Faculty of Languages and Literature > Professor English Literature > Professor English Literature - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Florian Klaeger
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields > Cultural Encounters and Transcultural Processes
Profile Fields
Profile Fields > Emerging Fields
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 800 Literature > 820 English and Old English literatures
Date Deposited: 07 Mar 2024 07:58
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 12:08