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Professor Michael Hunter

Email: m.hunter@bbk.ac.uk

Research interests

  • The scientist Robert Boyle (1627-91) has been my chief preoccupation for the past twenty years. I have been principally responsible for editing his Works (14 vols., 1999-2000), Correspondence (6 vols., 2001) and Workdiaries, and have produced a catalogue of his vast archive, now in revised form. I have also published various interpretative studies of Boyle, trying to understand his complex personality, and these climaxed with my biography of him, Boyle: Between God and Science, published by Yale University Press in 2009 and issued in paperback in 2010. For more information, see the Boyle website.
  • My work on Boyle grew out of earlier work on the milieu of the "new science" associated with the Royal Society in its formative years, which I have continued in parallel with my work on Boyle. I have done extensive research on the history of the Royal Society as an institution, and on its membership. I have also investigated various themes in the history of ideas in the period, including changing attitudes towards magic.
  • More broadly, I am interested in the culture of early modern England as a whole, and especially its visual culture. From 2006 to 2009 I directed a project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council for a digital library of British printed images to 1700. For details see the project website.
  • For my other interests, see the headings in my list of publications.

Publications

  • The Visual Culture of Early Modern Britain
  • [ed.] Printed Images in Early Modern Britain: Essays in Interpretation (2010)
  • The Intellectual History of Restoration England
  • [ed., with Frances Harris], John Evelyn and his Milieu (2003)
  • 'Scientific change: its setting and stimuli', in Barry Coward (ed.), A Companion to Stuart Britain (2003), 214-29
  • Science and the Shape of Orthodoxy: Intellectual Change in late 17th-century Britain (1995)
  • Science and Society in Restoration England (1981; reprinted 1992)
  • John Aubrey and the Realm of Learning (1975)
  • The Early Royal Society
  • [ed., with Michael Cooper], Robert Hooke: Tercentennial Studies (2006)
  • 'The Founder Members of the Royal Society', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2006)
  • [with Jim Bennett, Michael Cooper and Lisa Jardine], London's Leonardo: the Life and Work of Robert Hooke (2003)
  • The Royal Society and its Fellows 1660-1700: the Morphology of an Early Scientific Institution (enlarged ed., 1994; originally published 1982)
  • Establishing the New Science: the Experience of the Early Royal Society (1989)
  • [ed., with Simon Schaffer] Robert Hooke: New Studies (1989)
  • Robert Boyle
  • Boyle: Between God and Science (2009)
  • 'Robert Boyle and the Early Royal Society: a Reciprocal Exchange in the Making of Baconian Science', British Journal for the History of Science, 40 (2007), 1-23.
  • The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle (2007)
  • Robert Boyle (1627-91): Scrupulosity and Science (2000)
  • [guest editor], 'Psychoanalysing Robert Boyle', Special issue of British Journal for the History of Science, 32 (1999), 257-324
  • [ed., with Edward B. Davis], Robert Boyle, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature (1996)
  • [ed.] Robert Boyle Reconsidered (1994; reprinted 2003)
  • [For details of the editions of Boyle’s Works, Correspondence, Workdiaries and early biographical texts, and for the Occasional Papers of the Robert Boyle Project, see the project website.
  • Editing, and the Interpretation of Libraries and Archives
  • Editing Early Modern Texts: an Introduction to Principles and Practice (2007)
  • 'Whither editing?' Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 34 (2003), 805-20
  • [ed., with Giles Mandelbrote, Richard Ovenden and Nigel Smith], A Radical's Books: the Library Catalogue of Samuel Jeake of Rye, 1623-90 (1999)
  • [ed.] Archives of the Scientific Revolution: the Formation and Exchange of Ideas in 17th-century Europe (1998)
  • 'How to edit a 17th-century manuscript: principles and practice', The 17th Century, 10 (1995), 277-310
  • The Decline of Magic
  • 'New Light on the "Drummer of Tedworth": Conflicting Narratives of Witchcraft in Restoration England', Historical Research, 78 (2005), 311-353 [also available on Birkbeck e-Prints]
  • [ed.] The Occult Laboratory: Magic, Science and Second Sight in late 17th-century Scotland (2001)
  • 'Witchcraft and the decline of belief', 18th-century Life, 22 (1998), 139-47
  • [ed., with Annabel Gregory] An Astrological Diary of the 17th Century: Samuel Jeake of Rye, 1652-1699 (1988)
  • Early Modern Atheism
  • [ed., with David Wootton] Atheism from the Reformation to the Enlightenment (1992; reprinted 2003)
  • 'The problem of "atheism" in early modern England', Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 5th series 35 (1985), 135-57
  • Heritage Issues
  • [ed.] Preserving the Past: the Rise of Heritage in Modern Britain (1996)
  • [with Peter J. Ucko, Alan J. Clark and Andrew David] Avebury Reconsidered: from the 1660s to the 1990s (1991)
  • 'The preconditions of preservation: a historical perspective', in David Lowenthal and Marcus Binney (eds.), Our Past Before Us: Why Do We Save It? (1981), 22-32
  • The Victorian Villas of Hackney (1981)