This article argues that the prefatory essay to Edward Tyson's 1680 pamphlet Phocaena deliberately sets in opposition English and French institutional models of scientific investigation and publication. Tyson took account of Mémoires pour Servir à l'Histoire Naturelle des Animaux, produced by the Académie Royale des Sciences in Paris, which was implicitly contrasted with Tyson's own investigations and his plans to extend them. Tyson used the contrast both to frame the Royal Society in terms of an ideal of open collaboration and as a means of demonstrating his independence of action. I suggest that Phocaena may be used to illuminate contemporary anxieties about the merits of ephemeral formats for research in natural philosophy, the desirability and the burden of royal patronage, and the fluidity of the Royal Society's experimental and publishing procedures in the wake of Henry Oldenburg's death. Finally, I examine how superficially similar courses of collaborative investigation could be shaped to very different ends and outcomes by their institutional contexts.
Edward Tyson's 1680 pamphlet Phocaena, or the Anatomy of a Porpess is conventionally acknowledged as a founding text of comparative anatomy in England, largely because of the acuity of its insights as confirmed by later developments in zoology and thus its contribution to the early history of a discipline.1 Because judgements like these value the natural-philosophical work of the past precisely by the extent to which it conforms to the standards of more recent science—the extent, in other words, to which it succeeds in transcending its context—they are by definition neglectful or dismissive of the contexts out of which the work emerged. This paper will suggest that the pamphlet's prefatory essay constitutes a deliberate defence of a model for the presentation of research that it represents as characteristically English; in particular, that the rhetoric that Tyson deploys to justify his publication gestures towards, and distinguishes itself from, the Mémoires pour Servir à l'Histoire Naturelle des Animaux (1671; revised and expanded 1676) produced by the Académie Royale des Sciences in Paris. Tyson's own investigations and his plans for a larger project of comparative anatomy continuing into the 1680s were implicitly defined against this vast, expensive and initially anonymous publication. I intend to show that the broad distinctions that historians of science have drawn between styles of scientific institution and administration on either side of the English Channel, between Louis XIV's pensionary academy in Paris and the Royal Society sustained by voluntary subscription, constituted an active question in the minds of seventeenth-century natural philosophers. I will use Tyson's work to explore contrasting strategies of collaborative research, publication and patronage in the two institutions, and to trace the new modes of publishing with which the Royal Society experimented in the wake of the death of its first Secretary, Henry Oldenburg.
Permanence and ephemerality: the problem of the pamphlet
The practitioners of natural philosophy were accustomed to publishing work that made large epistemic claims about nature and the cosmos in small, ephemeral formats. Galileo's Sidereus Nuncius, for instance, announcing (among other things) his discovery of the satellites of Jupiter, was printed in Venice in 1610 as a quarto pamphlet of 28 pages. The work was not Galileo's most lastingly significant contribution to astronomy, but it made public for the first time a discovery that has since become an emblematic moment of the scientific revolution, and one whose potential importance was obvious at the time. If Galileo did not precisely feel a tension between the scale of his claims and the form in which he was making them, he was certainly aware of the irony. The name of the treatise (‘the sidereal message’, customarily rendered in translation as ‘the starry message’ or, more usually, ‘the starry messenger’) gestures playfully at the notion of celestial influence in human affairs; yet the knowledge that the pamphlet proclaims is wrung from the heavens by human ingenuity and endeavour, a levelling blow against the gods after whom the heavenly bodies are named.2 The title and indeed the very form of the pamphlet play tricks of scale with its own importance, reverse the usual agency of messages from the heavens, and set men and gods in jocular competition. Galileo draws attention to the physical slightness of the book elsewhere: in his correspondence around the time of its printing he refers to it as an avviso astronomico.3 The term avviso identifies the book with the handwritten (and later printed) letters of news that circulated in Italy and beyond in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, and ironically acknowledges the dissonance between the modesty of the form in which his discovery is announced and the grandeur of the discovery itself.
The problem is not merely to manage in translation the effects that Galileo intended by his title. We may call it by its name, but how are we to describe it? Book, pamphlet, treatise, paper, announcement: these would all be technically accurate and all, to a greater or lesser extent, misleading. The choice of term is not strictly a question of format; the word pamphlet, for instance, comes to describe both a form and a genre. As Joad Raymond suggests, the word in its least exclusive sense means ‘a short quarto book’, usually between one and eight sheets in length; also usually, though not invariably, it would be sold cheaply, and stitched or stab-sewn rather than bound. By the 1580s the word had acquired more specific genre characteristics, and according to Raymond had come to refer to ‘a short vernacular work, generally printed in quarto format, costing no more than a few pennies, of topical interest or engaged with social, political or ecclesiastical issues.’ They were, he adds, ‘closely associated with slander and scurrility’, and thus risked attracting the attention of the authorities; no doubt it was partly because of this that very few authors embraced the term when choosing titles for their works.4 As will be discussed below, the genre characteristics of a pamphlet were mostly undesirable in the sphere of natural philosophy, but they were not always easy to dissociate from the format. In a case like Galileo's, the form of the Sidereus Nuncius actively courts the association of the pamphlet with the discourse of news and topical information in print, using it as currency in his efforts to secure the patronage of the Medici. Format was not a straightforward question of size; it had a bearing on the presentation, prestige, expense, availability and utility of a work.
How far did the fact of small-format publication matter to early modern natural philosophy? It was not uncommon, especially in the realms of cheap and popular print: astrological prognostications, almanacs, mathematical textbooks, handbooks on gunnery, navigation and surveying, collections of medical recipes and herbals were all printed in Britain in large numbers, and many of them took account of contemporary innovations and discoveries in natural knowledge.5 In learned spheres the establishment of institutions of early modern science was quickly followed by the emergence of the periodical as a vehicle for disseminating the work of early modern natural philosophy, in the form of the French Journal des Sçavans and the English Philosophical Transactions (both first appearing in 1665). Philosophical Transactions was published by the Royal Society's Secretary, Henry Oldenburg, and although technically a private venture it was closely associated with two spheres of the Society's activity: first, as a site of natural philosophical discussion, demonstration and experiment, much of which the journal reproduced; and second, as a hub of international information exchange facilitated by Oldenburg's extraordinary energy as a correspondent. Historians of science have noticed the extent to which these two spheres largely remained separate, noting in particular Oldenburg's successful use of his correspondence to paint a much more impressive picture of the Society's health and productivity than a strict examination of either its experimental record or its account-books would seem to allow.6 The journal was in an important sense an outgrowth of Oldenburg's correspondence but did not altogether supplant it: their functions overlapped and they continued to develop alongside one another.7 That parallel development, and the high degree of interdependence between the contents of the journal and Oldenburg's letters, meant that neither the epistolary nor the periodical mode of communicating work in natural philosophy easily predominated over the other. A typical issue of the early journal was an assemblage of fragments of letters, translations, excerpts from the proceedings of the Royal Society, book reviews and synopses, and accounts of forthcoming works, as well as more complete descriptions of experiments and observations. Thus it was not, or at least not straightforwardly, a research journal in the modern sense. Under Oldenburg's editorship the journal is more aptly described as a snapshot of goings-on in natural philosophy, intended to grant to its readers a sense of access to a new intellectual community rather than simply to transmit finished research. The status, and arguably the recognizable identity, of the scientific journal article were not securely established even by the late 1670s.
Philosophical Transactions was nevertheless important as an innovation and, by the twin measures of its enthusiastic reception and reasonable sales, at least a modest success. (The profits were disappointingly meagre in view of the labour it cost its compiler, however.8) Despite the rapid acceptance of a quarto journal of (typically) two or three sheets as a suitable medium for publishing news and discoveries in natural philosophy, its use among the Fellowship of the Royal Society remained uneven. The astronomer Edmond Halley, the mathematician John Wallis and the arachnologist and conchologist Martin Lister each published more than 50 pieces in Transactions over the course of his career; Robert Boyle, John Flamsteed and Edward Tyson published between 20 and 40 each. But other, equally important, early members did not. Christopher Wren, John Wilkins, John Evelyn and Nehemiah Grew all published fewer than five pieces in the journal; Isaac Newton, after setting out his theories of light and colours in it in 1672, and finding himself forced to defend them repeatedly in its pages over the next few months and years, contributed nothing further after 1676; finally there was Robert Hooke, perhaps the most conspicuous absentee, whose immense productivity as an experimentalist and instrument designer produced surprisingly little in the way of material for Transactions.9 He did not object on principle to ephemeral formats for the publication of work in natural philosophy, printing a number of small volumes himself, as well as editing seven numbers of a new journal, Philosophical Collections, after Oldenburg's death and the lapse of Transactions. He reacted violently, however, to William Molyneux's characterization of his 1674 critique of the Danzig astronomer Johannes Hevelius's Machina Coelestis as a ‘pamphlet’.10 Writing publicly about the affair in 1685, Molyneux affected to be using the word in the strictly technical sense, but he confided to John Flamsteed in a letter that he had actually meant it to carry its full pejorative weight. Hooke's piece, he told Flamsteed, was ‘a pamphlet in the worst sence, and that a Vain bragging Scurrilus pamphlet’.11
Hooke's sensitivity on the point proves little by itself—he was morbidly alert to the merest suggestion of a slight, from friends as from adversaries—but Molyneux's admission that he had used the term advisedly testified to its inflammatory potential, and Hooke's objection is evidently to the designation of the work as a pamphlet. Once so designated, and thus associated with violent partisanship, anonymous scribbling and personal invective, a work of natural philosophy lost its claim to gentlemanly respectability, potentially weakening any more specific claims advanced in the work itself.12 A full 10 years after the original publication of Hooke's Animadversions, Molyneux, it would seem, meant to sting him in open forum, although he retreated from provoking an irreparable breach; he walked the insult back publicly, even while reaffirming it in private.13 To be said to have produced a pamphlet, on this evidence and in this context, was to stand accused of having written in a particularly vicious manner, to have committed a transgression of courtesy and tone, which put the author beyond the pale of normal, civil discourse in natural philosophy, as a consequence of which the accuracy of his claims was almost beside the point. Joad Raymond has listed the deprecatory connotations of the term in the late sixteenth century: ‘pamphlets were small, insignificant, ephemeral, disposable, untrustworthy, noisy, deceitful, poorly printed, addictive, a waste of time.’14 Plainly, such connotations retained some currency into the late seventeenth century, even though a vast number of apparently respectable works across the spectrum of literary production could technically be described as pamphlets. In the case of Animadversions Flamsteed in fact concurred in Molyneux's judgement of Hooke, although he understood perhaps better than Molyneux that Hevelius's resistance to the use of telescopic instruments for celestial observations was retrograde, and therefore that the matter, if not necessarily the manner, of Hooke's objections was well founded.15
Questions of format and genre evidently played a part in the conduct of natural-philosophical disputes, sometimes explicitly as above, sometimes by implication. The form in which a knowledge-claim or a piece of research was published had some bearing on how it was to be received and with whom, or what institution, it was to be properly associated. Adrian Johns has influentially argued that Oldenburg's encounters with the practices of the Stationers' Company, and in particular his clashes with Hooke during the latter's patent and priority disputes in horology with Christiaan Huygens, resulted in the effective destruction of the ‘secretarial identity’ that he had helped to build.16 What followed was not a simple attempt to replace one thing with another, however; over the next 10 years the Royal Society experimented with a variety of administrative structures and publishing practices, multiplying the number of its salaried servants and honorary officers, and endeavouring to ensure against the recurrence of breaches like the one that had arisen between Oldenburg and Hooke—respectively the embodiments of the Society's publishing and communications, and its experimental activity. More systematic links between these spheres of activity were sought; new experimental programmes, with closer links to the Society's projected publications, were devised; practices of registration were regularized; the Society cleared its membership of dead wood and made efforts to collect the arrears of members' dues owing to it; and its correspondence networks were refashioned, with a less European outlook than had been the case under Oldenburg, around closer links with British natural philosophers and the nascent philosophical societies in Oxford and subsequently Dublin.17 It should therefore not be surprising that these experiments, aimed at reconstituting the secretarial identity along new lines in the early 1680s, led to the trying out of alternative models for a scientific journal, and institutional science publishing more generally, to those favoured by Oldenburg—the difficulty being that those responsible for these new or revived forms of publication still depended on a measure of perceived continuity with Oldenburg's regime to bolster their reputation.18
The problem of continuity was not simply incidental to the Society but basic to its conception of itself. The tension between the aspiration to useful knowledge and the apparently ephemeral form of its publication was structural, arising partly out of the awkward situation of honorary officers within the voluntary organization of the Society. Oldenburg is exemplary here once again: the blurred distinction between the work he undertook on the Society's behalf and what he did on his own account at once entrenched the secretaryship within the culture of the Society and made it impossible for any successor to fill his shoes. Yet the Society had been designed to outlive its members, and the permanence envisaged by the terms of its charter was vitally important both to its own credit and to its ability to bestow credit on others. The fact of incorporation helped to make its intellectual assets inheritable.
The ownership of natural knowledge: the institutional context
This is not to say that different modes of publishing were necessarily in opposition, but rather that they helped to establish on what terrain natural philosophers sought, or were permitted, to operate. The point is articulated by Harcourt Brown, who, writing about Journal des Sçavans (often mentioned as a forerunner-cum-inspiration to Transactions), suggests that its international scope, its interest in natural philosophy and its preference for observation over speculation help to make traceable a link between it and the universalizing projects of the Encyclopédistes of the next hundred years; he argues neatly that even though the French journal adapted itself to a prevailing intellectual current, it became an influential agent in determining the future course of French letters, and that even though it appeared weekly and sought to make a virtue precisely of the freshness of its contents—of their newsworthy status, even—it became the model for projects that aspired to universal knowledge and permanent worth.19
In the eighteenth century, those encyclopaedic French publishing projects (such as Pierre Bayle's Dictionnaire Historique et Critique of 1697 and Louis Moréri's Grand Dictionaire Historique in 1674) came to be directly imitated in similar English ones.20 But this very linear view of the development of the organization of natural knowledge in print falsifies the issue by not paying enough attention to the institutional context. The influence of the institutional frameworks of early modern British and French natural philosophy on actual practices of research have only rarely been examined closely alongside one another, perhaps because the structural differences are presumed to be too great to be productively compared. Nor has there been a sense that either Society took much account of the work and organization of the other. The case of Mémoires pour Servir à l'Histoire Naturelle des Animaux throws up two clear instances of Royal Society projects being developed in conscious imitation of, if not rivalry with, the French endeavours; the comparative anatomy project that was proposed in the Royal Society also sought to obtain the animal corpses for dissection from the royal menagerie, and they also stressed the primacy of the single observation recorded in faithful detail over any attempt to make taxonomic generalizations from them. The Society also argued for the need for an ‘English’ measurement of a degree of the Earth's surface, to correspond with that produced by Jean Picard in 1669 and printed in 1671 for the Académie. This project, which was initially launched at the request of Charles II, was much delayed, and it eventually passed from Robert Hooke to Edmond Halley, whose underfunded attempts petered out after an unsuccessful effort in late August 1686.21
Picard's Mesure and the Académie's Mémoires were bound together in one volume, and the Royal Society consequently succeeded in obtaining a copy of neither. Although both works were reviewed, in 1675 and 1676 respectively, the review of Picard's book is confessedly second-hand. On that basis we cannot be certain that any English anatomist had actually seen the work of the French Academy. Edward Tyson heard in May 1681 ‘that at Paris is a printed Book of ye Anatomy of 50 Animals, but I don't know when we shall see it.’ The expanded edition of the Mémoires in 1676 contained 31 anatomical descriptions, not 50, and had already been reviewed in Transactions; Tyson's error could simply be a misreporting, or might reflect a rumour that a further expansion of the original edition was planned. The Society seems to have received copies from Sir Cyril Wyche of the ‘4 books put out by ye King of France concerning anatomys &c.’, probably referring to a complete set of the works issued by the Académie in royal folio format up to that date. They consisted of Picard's Mesure, the anatomies of animals, the Mémoires pour servir à l'Histoire naturelle des Plantes (1676) and the Recueil de plusieurs traitez de mathématique de l'Académie Royale (1676). In their taxonomy of early works from the Académie, Eric Brian and Christian Demeulenaere-Douyère characterize these as making up the whole series of the ‘publications officielles solennelles’ issued in the seventeenth century.22 However, if these were the books given by Cyril Wyche, they are no longer extant in the Society's library, and were evidently not to hand when the expanded 1676 animals volume was bought and translated on the Society's behalf by Richard Waller and his brother-in-law, Alexander Pitfeild, in 1687. The remaining possibility, that Oldenburg had a copy that the Society had not seen or been able to use, is very unlikely. If Oldenburg had possessed such a copy it would surely have been unnecessary for the Society to set about having the works translated as soon as they were able actually to lay hands on them. Oldenburg had vented his irritation at the inability of his usual correspondents to supply a copy of Picard's book, which suggests that he had perhaps not realized that it was bound with the Mémoires, and its dissemination limited accordingly (only 200 copies of either printing of the Mémoires were made). Correspondingly, we may interpret the Society's attempts at similar projects, and eventual translations, not simply as attempts to keep up with their neighbours but also to duplicate work that they knew to have been done but to which they could not obtain access because of the manner of its distribution.23
The Royal Society had since its inception nursed ambitions of producing large-scale works of natural history—its Baconian roots made their production almost a foundational principle, and one that was much discussed even if little actual progress was made—but lacked the means to bring its plans to fruition. The Académie Royale, by contrast, did produce such volumes from the early 1670s onwards, but their presentation and format restricted their circulation and demonstrated how much of a check, as well as an enabling force, Louis XIV's patronage of his scientific academy could be—as well as providing a piquant contrast to Charles II's brand of benevolent indifference to his own foundation. The volumes on natural history produced under the auspices of the Paris Académie, and the volumes on animals in particular, grew out of a series of dissections performed before the Académie, and underwent successive editions and expansions of format.24 Expensively produced and superbly illustrated, these were presentation pieces; the first large-scale edition of 1671 was distributed exclusively by Louis as a royal gift. This small-scale dissemination, as we have seen, resulted in the Royal Society's being unable to procure a copy before 1683 at the earliest, perhaps not until 1687, and this in spite of a second, expanded edition of 1676.25 (They were valued, in 1683, at an enormous seven or eight pounds.26) Evidently, this enabled Louis to exploit the work of the Académie for his own prestige and the knowledge it produced specifically as a royal possession to be incorporated into the mechanisms of favour and patronage, but it made the work frustratingly useless as a contribution to the wider republic of letters. Royal support came at a cost; the French Crown's generous funding of the Académie could also restrict its autonomy, effectively expropriating the right to dispose of the knowledge it produced. The 1671 Mémoires was published without an author's name and carefully attributed, in the Preface, to the collective efforts of the Academicians. (This anonymity was dropped for the later edition, which was described as having been ‘dressez par M. Perrault’, but the insistence on the importance of collective production was not abandoned.27) It is partly a rhetorical fiction designed to draw attention to, and announce the virtues of, an ideal of collaboration in the Académie, but it was also intended to superimpose the King on the work as its sponsor, producer and its ultimate author. The exercise of royal authority overrode the claims of actual authorship.28
The Royal Society, like its continental counterpart, endeavoured to use its status as a royal foundation to obtain the specimens necessary to a course of comparative anatomy.29 But whereas the Académie actually succeeded in obtaining the bodies of animals from Louis's menageries at Vincennes and Versailles, either the Royal Society's similar petition to the English King fell on deaf ears, or Charles II's menagerie was less well supplied. The Society bought a sick ostrich in January 1682/3. This may have been from the royal menagerie—the Moroccan ambassador had presented some, along with lions, as a gift to Charles II in January of the previous year. If they had to buy it, however, this suggests the Society benefited only from the fact that the menagerie brought exotic animals to London, not from Royal sponsorship as such. Although the Society's records make no mention of the dissection or its results, the letters between the secretaries, Francis Aston and Robert Plot, show that they were expecting an anatomical description of it for Transactions. Anatomical drawings of an ostrich also survive in the Tyson Folio at the Royal College of Physicians.30 Guerrini has pointed to the use of animals from the Vincennes menagerie by the Academicians, as well as the sequencing of the dissections in the book itself, as part of a strategy to present Louis's various foundations as interdependent manifestations of royal power.31 By contrast, Tyson, and to some extent the Society, had to be prepared to proceed gradually, to obtain specimens where they could, and to publish their results piecemeal. The Academicians had themselves earlier published some dissections that were later reproduced, along with new work, in the expanded format of Mémoires. These lack any equivalent of Tyson's methodological account of how to proceed in a course of anatomical natural history. Tyson deprecated the waste of space on confuting ancient opinions, and on ‘tedious philological harangues’, of which some of the French texts are not free (especially the account of the chameleon and its behaviour, which the academicians had good opportunity to observe alive). In practice, however, there is considerable methodological overlap between Tyson and his French counterparts.32 The project of producing comprehensive anatomies of animals in England, although not formally articulated by the Society, was implicitly the desired outcome of Tyson's appointment as Curator of Experiments alongside Frederick Slare in February 1683.
Tyson's particular responsibility was anatomical demonstrations, and a working model of a project for publishing them had been established by the appearance of Phocaena in 1680. He produced several more dissections for the Society over the course of the next eight months after his appointment as Curator, many of them in collaboration with Richard Waller, including the anatomy of a rattlesnake, a tapeworm, a green lizard, a chameleon and a Mexican musk-hog. Several of these were printed in Transactions.33
Phocaena was an economically illustrated four-sheet quarto pamphlet—not notably longer than the pieces that Tyson produced in 1683 and printed in Transactions. Tyson dedicated the work to Sir Joseph Williamson, then President of the Royal Society, but did not issue it under the Society's imprimatur or place it with a Royal Society printer. The dissection began, remarkably enough, in Garraway's coffee-house, before removing to Gresham College.34 The latter location (mentioned on the pamphlet's title page) surely associated the work with the Royal Society in the minds of readers, but no part of the dissection seems to have taken place at a Society meeting because no mention of it appears in the minutes.35 Tyson wrote up an account of it, part of which was read before the Society;36 the rest was left for a later occasion but never actually completed, and no more was heard of it until Tyson produced his printed version at the end of May.37
This is worth pausing over, because the dissection and the published report of it straddle a busy six months of Tyson's career. The dissection began on 14 November 1679—two weeks before Tyson was elected to the Royal Society. After Phocaena was printed, Tyson took his medical degree from Cambridge in July 1680 and joined the Royal College of Physicians in September, becoming a Fellow of the College three years later. Tyson was proposed for membership of the Royal Society by Robert Hooke, who was closely involved in the production of the book (he is thanked in the preface as its prime mover) and probably in the dissection itself—which, given that it took place at Gresham College but not under the Society's auspices, very probably happened in his rooms.38 As Secretary to the Royal Society as well as its Curator of Experiments, Hooke was in a unique position to influence the Society's research direction and its practices of publication—during which time he produced Philosophical Collections (series of short papers by several authors, grouped by subject matter), his own Lectiones Cutlerianae (1679), consisting of discourses read for his Gresham and Cutlerian lectureships, as well as papers read before the Society, and proposed the subscription publication of an account of the Royal Society's instruments.39 He was crucial to bringing Tyson into the Royal Society, urged him to publish Phocaena, and collaborated with him on other dissections. In 1678 Hooke met Richard Waller for the first time; Waller soon became another of Hooke's protégés and would later collaborate with Tyson on dissections.40
Tyson's position, between the Society and the College of Physicians, was in some respects an unusual one. Although many physicians were members of both, relations between the two organizations were not always easy: proposals to share premises after the Fire of London were quashed by the physicians, and Michael Hunter has argued that the Royal Society's ambitions as a research institution were viewed with suspicion by their medical colleagues.41 The establishment of an anatomical committee in 1681 was vetoed by William Croone, a member of both organizations, who ‘objected College of Physicians’.42 Tyson was unusually active in both groups. He had been Robert Plot's pupil while at Oxford, and remained in touch with his old tutor, acting as a distributor of books and collecting subscriptions on Plot's behalf for his Natural History of Oxford-shire, to which Tyson had contributed (1677); a letter to Plot of 1681 shows that Tyson was also active in promoting research and publishing projects within the College of Physicians, announcing that he had ‘got severall discourses and observations of the Physicians of the College, as also of severall that practise in the country’, from which he planned to ‘put it into Latine and to make a volume in 4to which I intend to publish once a yeare.’ (These letters, incidentally, represent the earliest evidence, in Tyson's references to Plot's ‘ingenious Club’, for the first meetings of the group of Oxford virtuosi who would later coalesce into the Oxford Philosophical Society.43)
From this we might infer that Phocaena, and the dissection that lay behind it, was part of the currency of Tyson's entry to both the Royal Society and the College of Physicians. When he was appointed Curator of anatomical experiments to the Society in February 1682/3—he was the first physician appointed to such a post, although the Society had previously offered to create one for Richard Lower in 1667, which he refused—at least one of his published dissections appears almost as a joint venture between the Physicians and the Fellows of the Society. The Mexican musk-hog, for instance, was ‘afforded me by my very good friend Dr Goodall, a Fellow of the Colledg of Physicians, and a great lover of the same, who accidentally meeting with it, when dead; procured it for our private dissection at our theater; and afterwards more leisurely examining it at the Repository of the Royal Society, and having the assistance of my ingenious Friend R. Waller Esq.and Mr [Henry] Hunt in making the Figures’.44
Tyson, in short, conducted his anatomical studies through multiple institutional frameworks, moving easily between milieux and deriving assistance, specimens, and resources from each in turn, occasionally on the same dissection. (He later served as Ventera Reader in Anatomy at the Company of Barber-Surgeons as well.) Phocaena helped launch him in this sphere, and it is possible that Tyson resisted issuing it with the Royal Society's imprimatur so that he would be able to move more easily between the Society and the College of Physicians. This did not, however, prevent the Society from endeavouring to appropriate the credit for the work. Once printed, copies of Phocaena were sent by the Society as gifts to foreign correspondents alongside works by Robert Boyle.45 In short, it was seen and used, and designedly so, as closely associated with the Royal Society even though it was not in any official sense a Royal Society production.
To a remarkable extent, however, Phocaena enjoyed the advantages of being at once an individual work and an institutional one. It benefited from the prestige of the Royal Society without being restricted by it, and in turn the Society used it as a counter in the economy of exchange through which it maintained its foreign correspondence. Tyson enjoyed the support, and even the active assistance, of key members of the Society but pursued the research at his leisure. (This dissection took place partly at the coffee-house and partly at Gresham College, but others, the fruits of which were also offered to the Society, were performed at the Royal College of Physicians in the anatomy theatre designed by Hooke.46) Tyson developed a working method whereby institution and researcher, and sometimes more than one of each, could lay claim to a stake in the natural knowledge produced without either one vitiating or overriding the other's.
Alexander or Aristotle? Tyson's ideal of patronage
A further point to notice is that Tyson prefaced the account with a shrewd defence of his decision to publish the account of a single dissection; the small format helps in the performance of authorial modesty while hinting at a much larger project of comparative anatomy that, he points out, could not possibly be completed by a single person. The tropes employed are conventional enough—the microcosmic nature of animals, which enables an equation of anatomical research with the superficially grander, globe-encompassing adventures of the explorers, cartographers and astronomers; and the notion of natural philosophy as a great edifice, employing many hands in diverse tasks—but these are developed into a specific argument for a right relation of natural knowledge to power and patronage:
In every Animal there is a world of wonders; each is a Microcosme or a world in it self: And that great Conquerour of the world, who wept that there was but one for his ambitious rage to spoil, at length more nobly had his desires in these, and with greater Glory hath eterniz'd his Name, when after he had ravag'd the Air, Sea and Land, at last committed to Aristotle to write the History of his Trophies. The wisest of Kings and Men may be thought to have gained great part of his knowledge from them. Nor ever was there an Age so ignorant and Brutish, but in some measure or other hath endeavoured to bequeath to Posterity their learning herein. Ours that hath so widely extended the Pomoeria or former Boundaries of all good Learning, and with vast labour at last pulled down those Herculean Pillars, that too narrowly confined its Empire; having vindicated its just Liberties from the Tyranny of usurping Authorities, and the Credulous slavery to some Great Names, does daily bring in its stores for the rearing a new and more lasting structure of Natural History.47
In this scheme Alexander's tutor is set above him; the apotheosis of Aristotle, whose stranglehold over the realm of knowledge much of the effort of seventeenth century natural philosophy had been spent in prising apart, is given as his pupil's most startling achievement. So the type of the successful ruler is overturned, and global conquest set at nought, ranking beneath investigations of insects. The scientific patronage of conquerors becomes their most lasting and praiseworthy attribute, although the praise of Aristotle chimes oddly with what follows. The ‘usurping authority’ and ‘credulous slavery to some great names’ refer to stifling orthodoxies in philosophy such as the natural histories of Aristotle and Pliny, Ptolemaic cosmology and Galenic medicine. At the same time, the rhetoric of breaking through the Pillars of Hercules deploys the image created by Francis Bacon for establishing a realm of knowledge beyond the limits imposed by antiquity. This notion, apparent in the frontispiece to Bacon's Instauratio Magna (1620), is appropriated by Joseph Glanvill in the title of Plus Ultra (1668), a defence of the Royal Society against the attacks of a dogmatic Aristotelian.
Gestures of respect for Aristotle in works of seventeenth-century natural philosophy, coupled with an avowed determination to supersede or amend him, were pro forma. The figurative conquest of the natural world through knowledge is here valued above Alexander's achievements. Tyson's text acknowledges Aristotle in its title (to whom was due the original attribution of the name Phocaena to the porpoise) but does not engage with his natural history in real detail; even in the general scheme for a comparative anatomy of animals Tyson suggests a summary of the wisdom of the ancients (which is really just a compendium of its errors) only as an afterthought:
Having run through these three Accounts, the Physiological, the Anatomical, and the Medical, a reflection upon the whole may be made; and the Pseudodoxia or false Opinions of the Antients, and the fabulous traditions concerning them, may be taken notice of, rather by way of Catalogue than a larger Confutation.48
Aristotle, then, is to be respectfully regarded as an indispensable founder of natural history, but not to be submitted to. The denial of singular authorities helps to conjure the collaborative ethic that Tyson argues for, because the work of natural history effectively needs to be started again:
But here it may be objected perhaps by some, That this design is too great to be effected, since a single subject to be examined, will make a volume, and require some years, and the assistances of several heads and hands. But however slothful Ignorance may hence take a discouragement, yet nothing is insuperable to diligence and pains. But he certainly is to blame, who because he can't have all, grows sullen, and will have none. If what may, were but performed, such a stock would easily be added to by future diligence; and far better a little with accurateness, than an heap of rubbish carelessly thrown together. Malpighi in his Silk-worn hath done more, than Johnston in his whole book of Insects; and he and the Ingenious Dr Grew have taught us far more of Plants, than either Gerard or Parkinson. Since therefore it requires much Pains, Expence and Time, many hands must be engaged therein; although it were to be desired, that some whose great Labours and Experience had rendred them more capable and expert, were more immediately concerned. Nor were it difficult, were there more Alexanders to find out Aristotles.49
By the end of the outline, it has become the highest duty of rulers to seek out and encourage the great natural philosophers of the age and, in the meantime, the duty for those who can do so to get on with the actual work. (This second deployment of the Alexander/Aristotle trope perhaps also glances at Charles II's inertia as a patron of natural philosophy.) In introducing the patron–client relationship through the particular case of Alexander and Aristotle, Tyson hits on the same image as Perrault used in the preface to Mémoires to characterize the relation between the Académie and Louis XIV. I say ‘hit on’ advisedly, because it was almost certainly not imitation; although Tyson refers to Mémoires in a footnote, I believe, with Tyson's biographer Montagu, that he had not seen a copy. Tyson certainly knew of the French book's existence, but having referred to Mémoires in Phocaena in May 1680, he seems to state in a letter of 1681, quoted above, that he has not seen it; his reference to Mémoires points to a difference between the structures of the heart in otters and beavers, which is one of the passages highlighted in the review in Philosophical Transactions. Tellingly, Tyson does not give a page reference for his citation, strongly suggesting, in conjunction with other circumstantial evidence, that he was working from the review.50
This review told Tyson that the French text shared his methodological preoccupation with the primacy of direct observation, the virtues of collaboration, and a narrowly descriptive approach in the initial stages of establishing a new natural history.51 The publishing history of early works in the Académie seems to have generated a good deal of confusion among English natural philosophers until 1676—as I have already shown, there is evidence that Oldenburg had failed to understand why Picard's treatise on the measure of a degree of the Earth's surface was unobtainable; while the 1676 review of Mémoires is actually a review of the 1671 edition, and probably second-hand. It is consequently uncertain whether in 1680 Tyson or his colleagues understood that the work was being distributed as an article of royal patronage; what he must have known is that a work with whose aims he had considerable sympathy, and which was much larger and better funded than his own anatomical researches, lay beyond his perusal. In this instance, Alexander both sponsored and effectively suppressed Aristotle: the historical philosopher and the latter-day Alexander are both ‘usurping authorities’ over early modern natural philosophy, whatever their intentions. It is possible that Tyson in fact intended the Alexander/Aristotle trope as a reflection on the limits placed on the utility of knowledge by Louis's control of what his Académie produced. Although Peter Burke has shown that analogies between Louis and Alexander became less frequent from the early 1670s onwards, plainly they had sufficient currency to be deployed by the academicians in 1671, and again in 1676; Louis's new role as a patron of experimental natural philosophy, in the form of the Académie, may have helped sustain it.52
Tyson's self-consciously modest offering is rightly to be understood, in this context, as outdoing the work of the great philosophers and conquerors of antiquity, even as—or, more precisely, because—it limits its own claims to authority and finality. The anatomist achieves that surrender of authority over his work by making a point of sharing it widely and freely; that the dissection itself actually began in a public place, as the reader of Tyson's pamphlet is reminded on the title page, serves only to reinforce this.
Thus, claims to knowledge of the highest order, if not necessarily the most comprehensive, can be quite acceptably advanced in small publications; in fact it is almost better that they should be so. The ideal of collaboration is appealed to as the ultimate justification: we should note that when Molyneux accuses Hooke of pamphleteering, the substance of the gibe inheres in, and sticks because of, the perception that Hooke's motives in the argument with Hevelius were essentially self-serving.53 And by implication, two distinct models of collaboration are compared here: a French version, which is stern, centralized, enforces anonymity—and is even tyrannized over—and an English ethic, represented as humble, willing to give credit where due, contentedly open-ended, and unspectacular.
There is a paradox here, in that the ideal of collaboration is invoked by a researcher as a way of justifying his independence of action; Tyson's rhetoric describes and defends his own particular case, but this is not to suggest that it was the only method practised in the Royal Society. They had taken consulting or supervisory roles in large projects before—Moses Pitt's project for a new English Atlas, for instance—and would launch one of their own when they took on the responsibility for Francis Willughby and John Ray's Historia Piscium, another expensive, large-scale work of animal natural history, the printing of which began to be mooted in 1684/5 and on which work continued for a year and which, notoriously, almost bankrupted the Society. By doing so, they were embarking on a collaborative project similar to the kind advocated by Tyson, but with a large, lavishly illustrated and costly folio as the intended end product instead of a series of short treatises and pamphlets.54
There were moral and epistemic considerations, as well as simply practical financial ones, that hinged on the format of publication. Authors who made use of smaller formats risked being denigrated for it by hostile critics, as Hooke was by Molyneux, or Edmond Halley's Catalogus Stellarum Australium by an increasingly embittered John Flamsteed, their respective antagonists implying lapses of civility in Hooke's case and an impermissible idleness in Halley's.55 Larger formats, for their part, carried correspondingly greater financial risks and were harder to coordinate, often more conflict-ridden and not necessarily more useful to other natural philosophers. It was difficult to predict with certainty what the consequences would be in any given case, but the rhetorical and institutional manoeuvrings of Tyson show that serious effort had to be put into tilting them in the author's favour. Tyson's dissection also serves to demonstrate that the Royal Society and its members were very conscious of the work of the Académie Royale des Sciences and that much of the work associated with the London group in the early 1680s represented an active engagement with the Parisians and perhaps even an attempt to emulate them. The Society improvised within the confines of its rather less generous state support, and shaped its publication strategies accordingly; and its performance of openness in print and reliance on small-format publication eventually produced work in comparative anatomy that was more widely read than its French counterpart. The purpose of this essay has not been to trumpet the superiority of one national brand of natural philosophy over another, but rather to demonstrate the constraints upon different institutional models of science and to show how those constraints were restyled as necessary virtues by early modern anatomists.
↵1 M. F. Ashley Montagu, Edward Tyson, MD, FRS 1650–1708 and the rise of human and comparative anatomy in England (The American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, 1943), p. 109.
↵2 The ambiguities of Galileo's title, the justice of the different translations, and the evidence of its reception are aptly summarized in the introduction to Isabelle Pantin's translation: Isabelle Pantin (ed. and tr.), Galileo Galilei, Sidereus Nuncius (Les Belles Lettres, Paris, 1993), pp. xxxii–xlv.
↵3 Albert van Helden (ed. and tr.), Galileo Galilei, Sidereus Nuncius (University of Chicago Press, 1989), p. 20.
↵4 Joad Raymond, Pamphlets and pamphleteering in early modern Britain (Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 8–9.
↵5 For a discussion of cheap print and early modern science see Simon Schaffer, ‘Science’, in The Oxford history of popular print culture (ed. Joad Raymond), vol. 1 (Cheap print in Britain and Ireland to 1660), pp. 398–417 (Oxford University Press, 2011).
↵6 See in particular Mario Biagioli, Galileo's instruments of credit (University of Chicago Press, 2004), pp. 64–67; Lisa Jardine, The curious life of Robert Hooke (HarperCollins, London, 2003), pp. 211–212; Michael Hunter, Science and society in Restoration England (Cambridge University Press, 1981), pp. 51–58.
↵7 For the origins of Transactions in the correspondence, see, among others, Hunter, op. cit. (note 6), p. 51; Marie Boas Hall, Henry Oldenburg: shaping the Royal Society (Oxford University Press, 2002), pp. 125–126; D. A. Kronick, A history of scientific and technical periodicals: the origins and development of the scientific and technical press, 2nd edn (Scarecrow Press, Metuchen, NJ, 1976), pp. 134–139.
↵8 Oldenburg complained to Boyle in December 1667 that Transactions had never made him more than £40 a year (‘little more, then my house-rent’). A. R. Hall and M. B. Hall, The correspondence of Henry Oldenburg, vol. 4 (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1968), pp. 58–59.
↵9 For a discussion of Newton's history with Transactions, see Charles Bazerman, Shaping written knowledge: the genre and activity of the experimental article (University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, 1988). Bazerman contends that although Newton's venture into print in the pages of the journal produced an exemplary piece of early modern scientific writing, from a biographical point of view it was a cautionary and not-to-be-repeated failure: ‘Newton, perceiving journal publication as a platform, created a forceful statement, but the bitter experience of controversy taught him that journal publication meant entry into an agonistic forum’ (p. 82).
↵10 Robert Hooke, Animadversions on the First Part of the Machina Coelestis (London, 1674).
↵11 Eric G. Forbes, Lesley Murdin and Francis Willmoth (eds), The correspondence of John Flamsteed, vol. 2 (Institute of Physics Publishing, London, 1997), p. 268. Molyneux to Flamsteed, 22 December 1685.
↵12 The extensive literature on the social construction of early modern science, and the particular stress laid on the role of gentlemanly identity in the manufacture of scientific credibility, seminally includes Shapin, ‘Who was Robert Hooke?’ in Robert Hooke: new studies (ed. M. Hunter and S. Schaffer), pp. 253–285 (Boydell Press, Woodbridge, 1989); and A social history of truth: civility and science in seventeenth-century England (University of Chicago Press, 1994) (passim, but especially pp. 42–64).
↵13 The public recantation is spoken of in the letter to Flamsteed quoted above, and is actually given in a letter to Edmond Halley of 8 April 1686 (Royal Society EL/M1, f. 94).
↵14 Raymond, op. cit. (note 4), p. 10.
↵15 Writing to Richard Towneley about the matter in March 1685/6, Flamsteed insisted that John Wallis's defense of Hevelius was overstated: ‘You need not be concerned at Dr Wallis his account of Hevelius his booke hee is onely minding to gratifie his old freind. and speakes the better of him both because hee is sensible with the rest of the World of Mr Hookes intollerable boastes, as also by reason hee was never used to observations with great instruments and therefore understand not the advantages of telescope sights above plaine ones.’ (Forbes et al. (eds), op. cit. (note 11), vol. 2, p. 281.)
↵16 For the most thoroughgoing account of the dispute see Rob Iliffe, ‘“In the warehouse”: privacy, property and priority in the early Royal Society’, Hist. Sci. 30, 29–68 (1992), which examines the debate over, and exploitation of, contemporary notions of intellectual property through the strategies deployed by Hooke and Christiaan Huygens in their efforts to secure the first English patent for the balance-spring watch; Adrian Johns's chapter ‘Piracy and usurpation’ in The nature of the book (University of Chicago Press, 1998) tackles the same episode from the point of view of Hooke's and Oldenburg's respective attempts to use the conventions of Restoration printing houses and the Royal Society to discredit one another's accounts of the dispute.
↵17 The disruption caused by Oldenburg's death to the Society's links to the continent is well attested, as is the difficulty the Society experienced in replacing so energetic a secretary and competent a linguist. It did, however, take steps to sustain its links with its most valuable correspondents, specifying the form of a ‘common letter’ to be sent to the most valuable correspondents in Britain and overseas, who were listed by name and included William Petty, Johannes Hevelius. Henri Justel, Martin Lister, Isaac Newton, Gottfried Leibniz and Ismail Boulliaud (see Thomas Birch, History of the Royal Society of London (London, 1756–57), vol. 3, p. 359). However, The Society did have an active membership and administration full of competent linguists during the 1680s, and between them they could supply much of the same linguistic coverage that Oldenburg had supplied: Edmond Halley wrote French and Latin, Richard Waller translated well from French and Italian and also Latin, Frederick Slare and Francis Lodwick were both of recent German descent, and several Society members—including Lodwick, Hooke and Francis Aston—chipped in to translate Antoni van Leeuwenhoek's letters from Dutch (see Birch, History, vol. 4, pp. 452, 26 and 11). Collectively they possessed the skills required to marshal an international correspondence, and the reconfiguration of the Society's outlook had a great deal to do with the appointment of Robert Plot as Secretary in 1682; he established closer links between Oxford and London that would grow into virtual interdependence over the next three years.
↵18 Johns, op. cit. (note 16), p. 531.
↵19 Brown argues that there is a demonstrable influence from the early years of the Journal on Pierre Bayle's conception of how to proceed, starting in 1684, with Nouvelles de la République des Lettres, pointing to Bayle's detailed work on typeface with his publisher with a view to making the journal a collector's item; the attention lavished on ephemera serves to undermine any notion of contradiction between small format publication and the more permanent value of the project. See H. Brown, ‘History and the learned journal’, J. Hist. Ideas 33, 365–378 (1972).
↵20 Biographia Britannica (1747–66), for instance, whose format was avowedly based on that of the General Dictionary, Historical and Critical (10 volumes; London, 1734–41), an English translation of and expansion upon Pierre Bayle's Dictionaire Historique et Critique (see Biographia Britannica I, the preface to which (pp. i–viii) traces the project's descent from the models provided by Louis Moreri and Pierre Bayle).
↵21 Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 2, p. 399 (21 October 1669); E. F. MacPike (ed.), Correspondence and papers of Edmond Halley (Oxford University Press, 1932), pp. 70–71. For a more detailed account of Halley's project see Alan Cook, Edmond Halley: charting the heavens and the seas (Oxford University Press, 1998), pp. 171–173.
↵22 Eric Brian and Christian Demeulenaere-douyère (eds), Historie et mémoire de l'Académie des Sciences: guide de recherches (Technique & Documentation, Paris, 1996), p. 110.
↵23 For Oldenburg's review of Picard, see ‘A Breviate of Monsieur Picarts Account of the Measure of the Earth’, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 10, 261–272 (1675): ‘This Account having been printed about two years since [actually more like four], in French; but very few Copies of it being come abroad, (for what reasons it is hard to divine;) it will be no wonder, that all this while we have been silent of it. Having at length met with an Extract thereof, and been often desired to impart it to the Curious; we shall no longer resist those desires, but faithfully communicate in this Tract what we have received upon this Argument from a good hand.’ Oldenburg's frustration is evident, as are his scruples about having to rely on somebody else's account. In a letter to Christiaan Huygens enclosing a copy of the journal he complained that Picart's book seemed to have found its way to everywhere but England: ‘Vous trouverez dans ce mesme imprimé un Extrait du livre de la mesure de la terre de M. Picart, qui m'a esté commniqué par un ami qui l'avoit lu. s'il y a des bevues i'espere, que l'autheur fera debiter par tout les Exemplaires du livre mesme, comme on en a envoyé quelques uns dans 2 ou 3 quartiers du monde, sans trouver bon d'en faire part a l'Angleterre, non obstant toutes les solicitations, que i'en avois faites à mes correspondens a Paris’ (Hall and Hall, op. cit. (note 8), vol. 10 (1975), p. 282). The editors remark on the oddity of this, because Oldenburg had been in possession of some account of the book for several years. For Wyche's gift, see note 26 below; for Tyson's not having seen a copy, see R. T. Gunther, Early science in Oxford (Oxford University Press, 1939), vol. 12, p. 6; for Waller's purchase of the volumes for translation, see Waller to Hooke, BL Sloane 4067 f. 97 (undated, but the licensing by the Royal Society's Council in November 1686 gives us a terminus ante quem: Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 4, p. 501 (17 November 1686)).
↵24 For a description of the publishing history of the Académie's programme of dissections, see Anita Guerrini, ‘The king's animals and the king's books: the illustrations for the Paris Academy's Histoire des animaux’, Ann. Sci. 67, 383–404 (2010).
↵25 Alexander Pitfeild, Fellow of the Royal Society and the brother-in-law of Richard Waller, gives the evidence for this in his preface to the English translation that he produced (with Waller's help) in 1688. See Alexander Pitfeild (tr.), ‘The publisher to the reader’, in Memoirs for the Natural History of Animals, Containing the Anatomical Descriptions of Several Creatures Dissected by the Royal Academy of Sciences at Paris (J. Streater, London, 1688), sig. [A]2r.
↵26 The Society seems to have obtained a copy in January 1682/3, when Francis Aston wrote to Robert Plot that ‘Sr Cyril Wich has given us the 4 books put out by ye King of France concerning Anatomys &c. a gift worth at least 20ll’ (Gunther, op. cit. (note 23), vol. 12, p. 13).
↵27 Anita Guerrini points out that the sense of ‘dresser’ encompasses both ‘to draw up’ and ‘to compile’; the attribution of the labour of writing up the dissections to Claude Perrault is carefully presented so as to differentiate between the textual production of the volume and the production of the knowledge it contains. The former may be primarily the work of one man; the latter is guaranteed by its collaborative basis. Guerrini, op. cit. (note 24), pp. 391–392.
↵28 Mario Biagioli has argued that the members of the Florentine Accademia del Cimento similarly effaced themselves from the published collection of the Academy's experiments, Saggi di Naturali Esperienze (Florence, 1667), with a view to allowing the Academy's founder and patron, Leopold de' Medici, to assume tacit authorship of a volume that he had had no direct hand in producing, while avoiding the ‘pollution’ of his princely status that would, Biagioli argues, have followed from his active participation in the experimental process. Mario Biagioli, ‘Scientific revolution, social bricolage, and etiquette’, in The scientific revolution in national context (ed. Roy Porter and Mikuláš Teich), pp. 11–54 (Cambridge University Press, 1996); see pp. 25–29.
↵29 Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 4, p. 38 (27 May 1680): ‘Upon this occasion the design of getting the bodies of all such exotic animals, as should chance to die in St James's Park, in order to their being anatomized and described, was again mentioned; and Mr Henshaw and Sir Christopher Wren were desired to use their interest with the keeper of them to procure them for the Society's use.’ The Royal Menagerie was kept in the Tower of London; however, John Evelyn described several exotic birds and animals (mostly of the deer family) that were kept in St James's Park in February 1665. E. S. de Beer (ed.), The diary of John Evelyn (Oxford University Press, 1959), vol. 3, pp. 398–400.
↵30 Tyson initially talked of dissecting an ostrich in July 1681 (Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 4, p. 96); the ostriches given to the King were given on 11 January 1681/2 (Sir John Reresby, Memoirs of Sir John Reresby, Bart. (London, 1734), p. 245); for Aston's letters about the dissection, and the bird's state of health, see Gunther, op. cit. (note 23), vol. 12, pp. 13 and 15; the illustrations may be found in the ‘Tyson Folio’ in the library of the Royal College of Physicians (MS 618 ff. 59–60).
↵31 Guerrini, op. cit. (note 24), pp. 386–389.
↵32 Edward Tyson, Phocaena, or the Anatomy of a Porpess, dissected at Gresham Colledge (London, 1680), p. 6; Description Anatomique d'un Cameleon, d'un Castor, d'un Dromadaire. d'un Ours, et d'une Gazelle, (Paris 1669), author anonymous (but put together by Claude Perrault, on the analogy of the subsequent, larger volumes). See especially pp. 3–8 for an instance of the preoccupation with the origins of the word ‘chameleon’ and what ancient authors were describing when they used it.
↵33 These included the rattlesnake (Edward Tyson, ‘Viperi Caudi-Sona Americana, or the Anatomy of a Rattle-Snake’, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 13, 25–46 (1683)), the tapeworm (Tyson, ‘Lumbricus Latus, or a discourse read before the Royal Society of the Jointed Worm’, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 13, 113–144 (1683)) and the Musk-hog (Tyson, ‘Tajacu seu Aper Mexicanus Moschiferus, or the Anatomy of the Mexico Musk-Hog’, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 13, 359–385 (1683)).
↵34 H. W. Robinson and W. Adams (eds), The diary of Robert Hooke 1672–1680 (Taylor & Francis, London, 1935), pp. 430–431 (14 November 1679). The episode is discussed in Markman Ellis, The coffee-house: a cultural history (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London, 2004), p. 160.
↵35 Tyson, op. cit. (note 32), sig. A1r–A2v.
↵36 The first appearance in the minutes of an account of the dissection is documented in Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 4, p. 2 (8 January 1679/80). Tyson's book was sent in acknowledgement by the Royal Society to John Bohn (a German correspondent who had just sent the Society a consignment of books), alongside Boyle's Second Part of the Continuation of New Experiments Physico-mechanical (1680) and specifically sent in unbound form (‘in quires’).
↵37 Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 4, p. 38 (27 May 1680).
↵38 Hooke is thanked by name in the ‘Preliminary Discourse concerning Anatomy and a Natural History of Animals’, ‘[whose] particular assisting me in designing several of the figures, and other favours deserve my best remembrance’; Tyson, op. cit. (note 32), pp. 10–11. To have produced the drawings on which the anatomical engravings were based, Hooke surely had to be present at the dissection, and it was apparently he who encouraged Tyson to publish. The original drawings are preserved in the Tyson Folio at the Royal College of Physicians. Numerous parts of the porpoise were examined under the microscope during the dissection, and it is very likely that Hooke was involved in this aspect of the work as well. Hooke had introduced Tyson to the Society, and the latter appears as a frequent companion and collaborator in Hooke's diary.
↵39 Mentioned in a letter of Tyson's to Robert Plot, dated 24 March 1681. Gunther, op. cit. (note 23), vol. 12, p. 3.
↵40 Robinson and Adams (eds), op. cit. (note 34), p. 356.
↵41 Hunter, op. cit. (note 6), pp. 143–144.
↵42 Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 4, p. 65.
↵43 Gunther, op. cit. (note 23), vol. 12, p. 7; for references to the club, ibid., pp. 5–7.
↵44 Tyson, ‘Tajacu’, op. cit. (note 33), pp. 359–360.
↵45 Birch, op. cit. (note 17), vol. 4, p. 48 (22 July 1680).
↵46 Hooke's work on the anatomy theatre is described in Jardine, op. cit. (note 6), pp. 168–170.
↵47 Phocaena, p. 3.
↵48 Ibid., p. 5.
↵49 Ibid., p. 9.
↵50 ‘I am informed that at Paris is a printed Book of ye Anatomy of 50 Animals, but I don't know when we shall see it’; Gunther, op. cit. (note 23), vol. 12, p. 6. This raises the question of how Tyson was able to cite the work (Phocaena, p. 31); Montagu suggests that the passage, which compares the porpoise's heart with that of the beaver and the otter, might derive from an account in Philosophical Transactions for January 1676 (see Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 11, 591–598 (1676)), in Montagu, op. cit. (note 1), p. 109. It is also possible that Tyson had seen a copy of an earlier collection of five anatomical descriptions from Paris, that later found their way into the Académie's 1671 collection—the Description Anatomique d'un Cameleon.
↵51 The reviewer closely paraphrases sections from the preface to the Mémoires, that the work contains ‘no matter of fact but such as hath been verified by a whole Assembly’, which militates against the tendency of the individual to see only what suits his theories or prejudices; Phil. Trans. R. Soc. Lond. 11, 591–598 (1676), at p. 591.
↵52 See Peter Burke, The fabrication of Louis XIV (The Bath Press, Bath, 1992), esp. pp. 35–37 and 67–68.
↵53 The question of why Hooke might have been particularly vulnerable to that accusation is a separate one, and a possible answer lies in the work done by Stephen Pumfrey, who has given a useful account of the ways in which Hooke's condition as a salaried employee is to be understood in the gentlemanly context of the Royal Society, and of the ways in which Hooke took advantage of the position of salaried curator to bolster his reputation and influence. This argument holds more convincingly for Hooke's career up to 1677 than subsequently, after he was elected to the Council. Hooke's status left him (unfairly) open to the assumption that his behaviour was self-seeking rather than disinterested merely because he was the Society's employee. See Stephen Pumfrey, ‘Ideas above his station: a social study of Hooke's Curatorship of Experiments’, Br. J. Hist. Sci. 29, 1–44 (1991), esp. pp. 3–9.
↵54 As well as the efforts of Ray in assembling the materials, based on his collaborations with the deceased Willughby, the printing of the Historia entailed administrative or financial contributions from a great many Fellows, the use of the Oxford University presses to actually produce the text, the involvement of members of the Oxford Society to help supervise and chivvy the printers, and half a dozen engravers to produce the illustrations, to say nothing of the subsequent labour of distributing and selling the copies, which fell to Robert Hooke and Henry Hunt, among others. For recent accounts of the book's production history, see Sachiko Kusukawa, ‘The Historia Piscium (1686)’, Notes Rec. R. Soc. Lond. 54, 179–197 (2000); and Anna Marie Roos, Web of nature: Martin Lister (1639–1712), the first arachnologist (Brill, Leiden, 2011), pp. 318–332.
↵55 As relations between Flamsteed and Halley deteriorated, the former's charges escalated from the suggestion that Halley, in understandable haste to satisfy his backers, had perhaps rushed into print the results of a voyage that had not fully answered the extravagant hopes entertained of it, to accusations of downright professional dereliction and moral turpitude. See Forbes et al. (eds), op. cit. (note 11), vol. 2, pp. 452–453: ‘I will not Adventure any thinge like a St Helena Catalogue into the world that shall oblige me to compliment every one that knows the heavens that may be civil to me on the account of its errors, nor shall any one say I have erred so many minuts in the declination of any eminent fixed star as that does degrees if wee dare beleive the French’ (Flamsteed to Newton, 20 February 1691/2).
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