Recommended reading on Boyle

Anstey, Peter, The Philosophy of Robert Boyle (London: Routlege, 2000)

Clericuzio, Antonio, 'A Redefinition of Boyle's Chemistry and Corpuscular Philosophy', Annals of Science, 47 (1990), 561-89

Davis, Edward B., and Hunter, Michael (eds.), Robert Boyle, A Free Enquiry into the Vulgarly Received Notion of Nature, Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Frank, R.G., Harvey and the Oxford Physiologists: a Study of Scientific Ideas and Social Interaction (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980)

[Hall], Marie Boas, Robert Boyle and Seventeenth-century Chemistry (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1958)

Hall, M.B., Robert Boyle on Natural Philosophy: An Essay with Selections from his Writings (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1965)

Harwood, John T. (ed.), The Early Essays and Ethics of Robert Boyle (Carbondale and Edwardsville: Southern Illinois University Press, 1991)

Hooykaas, Reijer, Robert Boyle: A Study of Science and Christian Belief (English translation, Lanham, Md.,1997 ; originally published at Loosduinen, The Netherlands, 1943)

Hunter, Michael, Boyle: Between God and Science (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2009)

Hunter, Michael, '"Physica Pregrinans, or the Travelling Naturalist": Boyle, his Informants and the Role of the Exotic', in id., Boyle Studies; Aspects of the Life and Thought of Robert Boyle (1627-91) (Farnham: Ashgate, 2015), pp. 185-232

Hunter, Michael (ed.), Robert Boyle by Himself and his Friends (London: Pickering & Chatto, 1994)

Hunter, Michael (ed.), Robert Boyle Reconsidered (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1994)

Hunter, Michael, Robert Boyle (1627-91): Scrupulosity and Science (Woodbridge: the Boydell Press, 2000)

Hunter, Michael, with contributions by Edward B. Davis, Harriet Knight, Charles Littleton and Lawrence M. Principe, The Boyle Papers: Understanding the Manuscripts of Robert Boyle (Aldershot: Ashgate, 2007)

Hunter, Michael, Clericuzio, Antonio, and Principe, Lawrence M. (eds.), The Correspondence of Robert Boyle (6 vols., London, Pickering & Chatto, 2001)

Hunter, Michael, and Davis, Edward B. (eds.), The Works of Robert Boyle (14 vols., London: Pickering & Chatto, 1999-2000)

Jacob, J.R., Robert Boyle and the English Revolution (New York: Burtt Franklin, 1977)

Kaplan, Barbara, 'Divulging of Useful Truths in Physick'. The Medical Agenda of Robert Boyle (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993)

Levitin, Dmitri. 'The Experimentalist as Humanist: Robert Boyle on the History of Philosophy', Annals of Science, 71 (2014), 149-182

MacIntosh, J.J., Boyle on Atheism (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2005)

MacIntosh, J.J. (ed.), The Excellencies of Robert Boyle (Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview Editions, 2008)

Maddison, R.E.W., The Life of the Honourable Robert Boyle, F.R.S. (London: Taylor & Francis, 1969)

Newman, William R., and Principe, Lawrence M., Alchemy Tried in the Fire: Starkey, Boyle and the Fate of Helmontian Chymistry (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002)

Principe, Lawrence M., 'Virtuous Romance and Romantic Virtuoso: the Shaping of Robert Boyle's Literary Style', Journal of the History of Ideas, 56 (1995), 377-97

Principe, Lawrence M., The Aspiring Adept: Robert Boyle and his Alchemical Quest (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998)

Sargent, Rose-Mary, The Diffident Naturalist: Robert Boyle and the Philosophy of Experiment (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1995)

Shapin, Steven, A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994)

Shapin, Steven and Schaffer, Simon, Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1985)

Stewart, M.A. (ed.), Selected Philosophical Papers of Robert Boyle (Manchester University Press, 1979; reprinted Hackett, 1991)

Webster, Charles, The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine and Reform 1626-60 (London: Duckworth, 1975; reissue with new introduction, Bern: Peter Lang, 2002)

Wojcik, Jan W., Robert Boyle and the Limits of Reason (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997)

Recommended reading on Boyle's context

The Scientific Revolution

Broad surveys:
David Wootton, The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution (London: Allen Lane, 2015)
David Knight, Voyaging in Strange Seas: The Great Revolution in Science (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2014)
John Henry, The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science (3rd edn., Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2008)
Peter Dear, Revolutionising the Sciences: European Knowledge and its Ambitions 1500-1700 (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 2001)

More detailed/reference studies
Peter Anstey, 'Experimental versus Speculative Natural Philosophy', in Peter Anstey and John Schuster (eds), The Science of Nature in the 17th Century (Dordrecht: Springer, 2005), pp. 215-42.
Michael Hunter, 'Scientific Change: its Setting and Stimuli', in Barry Coward (ed.), A Companion to Stuart Britain (Oxford: Blackwell, 2003), pp. 214-29.
Katherine Park and Lorraine Daston (eds), The Cambridge History of Science, vol. 3: Early Modern Science (Cambridge: University Press, 2006)

The history of alchemy and chemistry

Bruce T. Moran, Distilling Knowledge: Alchemy, Chemistry and the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 2005)
William R. Newman, Atoms and Alchemy: Chymistry and the Experimental Origins of the Scientific Revolution (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2006)
Lawrence M. Principe, The Secrets of Alchemy (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013)

Other themes

John Brooke, Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives (Cambridge: University Press, 1991)
Michael Hunter (ed.), Archives of the Scientific Revolution: The Formation and Exchange of Ideas in 17th-century Europe (Woodbridge: Boydell Press.1998)
Michael Hunter (ed.), The Occult Laboratory: Magic, Science and Second Sight in late 17th-century Scotland (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2001)
Charles Webster, From Paracelsus to Newton: Magic and the Making of Modern Science (Cambridge: University Press, 1982)
Richard Yeo, Notebooks, English Virtuosi and Early Modern Science (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2014) [see also his 'Loose Notes and Capacious Memory: Robert Boyle's Note-taking and its Rationale', Intellectual History Review, 20 (2010), 335-54]

The early Royal Society and its milieu

Michael Hunter, Science and Society in Restoration England (Cambridge: University Press, 1981), ch. 2 and passim
Michael Hunter, The Royal Society and its Fellows 1660-1700: The Morphology of an Early Scientific Institution (2nd edn., Oxford, British Society for the History of Science,1994)
Michael Hunter, 'First Steps in Institutionalisation: the Role of the Royal Society of London', in Tore Frängsmyr (ed.), Solomon's House Revisited: the Organisation and Institutionalisation of Science (Canton, MA, 1990), pp. 13-30, reprinted in id., Science and the Shape of Orthodoxy: Intellectual Change in Late Seventeenth-century Britain (Woodbridge, 1995), pp. 120-34, with a briefer statement in id., 'The Great Experiment', History Today, November 2010, pp. 34-40
W.T. Lynch, Solomon's Child: Method in the Early Royal Society of London (Stanford, 2001) [see also his 'A Society of Baconians? The Collective Development of Bacon's Method in the Royal Society of London', in J.R. Solomon and C.G. Martin (eds), Francis Bacon and the Refiguring of Early Modern Thought (Aldershot, 2005), pp. 173-202]
Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the Air-pump: Hobbes, Boyle and the Experimental Life (2nd edition, Princeton, 2011)

Boyle's Associates

Samuel Hartlib:
Charles Webster, The Great Instauration: Science, Medicine and Reform, 1626-60 (2nd edition, New York and Bern, 2002)
Mark Greengrass, Michael Leslie and Timothy Raylor (eds), Samuel Hartlib and Universal Reformation (Cambridge: University Press, 1994)
The Hartlib Papers Online,

Robert Hooke:
Michael Hunter and Simon Schaffer (eds), Robert Hooke: New Studies (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 1989)
Jim Bennett, Michael Cooper, Michael Hunter and Lisa Jardine, London’s Leonardo: The Life and Work of Robert Hooke (Oxford: University Press, 2003)
Lisa Jardine, The Curious Life of Robert Hooke, the Man Who Measured London (London: Harper Collins, 2003)
Matthew C. Hunter, Wicked Intelligence: Visual Art and the Science of Experiment in Restoration London (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2013)

Martin Lister:
Anna Marie Roos, Web of Nature: Martin Lister (1639-1712): The First Arachnologist (Leiden: Brill, 2011)

John Locke:
Peter Anstey, John Locke & Natural Philosophy (Oxford: University Press, 2011)
Roger Woolhouse, John Locke: A Biography (Cambridge: University Press, 207)

Isaac Newton:
Rob Iliffe, Newton: A Very Short Introduction (Oxford: University Press, 2007)
Denis R. Alexander (ed.), The Isaac Newton Guide Book (Cambridge: Faraday Institute, 2012)
Frank E. Manuel, A Portrait of Isaac Newton (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1968)

Katherine, Lady Ranelagh:
Carol Pal, Republic of Women: Rethinking the Republic of Letters in the Seventeenth Century, (Cambridge: University Press, 2012), ch. 5
Michelle DiMeo, ‘”Such a Sister became such a Brother”: Lady Ranelagh’s Influence on Robert Boyle’, Intellectual History Review, 25 (2015), 21-36
Ruth Connolly, ‘A Proselytising Protestant Commonwealth: The Religious and Political Ideals of Katherine Jones, Viscountess Ranelagh (1614-91)’, The Seventeenth Century, 23 (2008), 244-64

George Starkey:
William R. Newman, Gehennical Fire: The Lives of George Starkey, an American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1994)

Benjamin Worsley:
Thomas Leng, Benjamin Worsley (1618-77): Trade, Interest and the Spirit in Revolutionary England (Woodbridge: Boydell Press, 2008)


For a complete listing of writings on Boyle see: A Boyle Bibliography