Professor Kevin Killeen (Department of English and Related Literature) delivers the YorkTalk: ‘The doctor of everything: the teeming world of a 17th century physician’ at the University of York, January 2020.
In the 17th century, science, religion and the humanities were intertwined in very alien ways, and it was still conceivable that one could be an expert in them all. In this talk, literary historian Professor Kevin Killeen discusses the ideas of Sir Thomas Browne, whose writings are a rag-bag of everything that was worth knowing in the seventeenth century, plus quite a lot of things that weren't. Browne, writing in the midst of the English Civil War, was an encyclopaedic thinker, a collector of curiosities, a debunker of error, a mystic and a scientist, a physician and an antiquarian. He was also one of the greatest prose writers in English, loved by artists ranging from Coleridge to Virginia Woolf, but now largely a hidden and unknown genius.
Find out more about Professor Killeen’s research and expertise.