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Other Publications.

The Robert Boyle Project has recently branched out by publishing two books on topics relating to Boyle and his period. Most recently it has produced the following volume:

 

Madness and Mental Disorder: Sir Hans Sloane's Memoir of John Beaumont book cover  

Magic and Mental Disorder: Sir Hans Sloane's Memoir of John Beaumont edited by Michael Hunter. ISBN 978-0-9551608-4-4; xxvii + 22 pp.; 5 illustrations

This edition presents in full for the first time Sloane's memoir of the Somerset virtuoso and occultist, John Beaumont. The French text is accompanied by an English translation, a full apparatus and a lengthy introduction which elucidates the significance of the text for an understanding of Sloane's attitude to magic and to the magical manuscripts that he so assiduously collected.

As with the Occasional Papers of the Robert Boyle Project, the text of this publication may be obtained as a downloadable PDF file by clicking on the cover image to the left and printing it out. A limited edition of printed and bound copies has also been produced for library deposit and the title therefore given an ISBN.

Sloane was an acquaintance and devotee of Boyle's from his arrival in London in 1683 onwards. Thomas Birch records that Sloane cultivated Boyle's friendship 'by communicating to him whatever occurr'd to himself, which seem'd curious & important, & which Mr Boyle always received with his usual Candour & return'd with every Mark of Civility and Esteem'. Birch also recorded how Sloane told him that Boyle's 'constitution was so tender and delicate that he had divers sorts of cloaks to put on when he went abroad, according to the temperature of the air; and in this he governed himself by his thermometer'.

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The Robert Boyle Project has also published: Francis Barlow, Painter of Birds and Beasts, by Nathan Flis and Michael Hunter. ISBN 978-0-9551608-9-9; 36 pp. with numerous colour and black and white illustrations.

This volume was published to coincide with an exhibition about the artist, Francis Barlow, at Clandon Park, Surrey, from 10 May to 24 July 2011. The text by Nathan Flis gives a comprehensive view of Barlow's artistic output which is lavishly illustrated throughout. This volume is not downloadable from the Boyle website, but copies may be obtained at Clandon Park or by post from the Robert Boyle Project (price 12.00 inc. post and packing) Orders to m.hunter@bbk.ac.uk.

Though there is no evidence of a direct link between Boyle and Barlow, there are many indirect ones through such mutual contacts as John Evelyn and John Wilkins, and the Robert Boyle Project's publication of this book seemed appropriate because of its contribution to our knowledge of Boyle's milieu.

Francis Barlow, Painter of Birds and Beasts, book cover