“On the Eminent Dr Edward Brown’s Travels”: A familial network of creation in the Philosophical Transactions

Anna Wyatt

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This article explores the authorship of knowledge in the late seventeenth century, with a focus on Dr. Edward Browne’s (1644–1708) contributions to the Royal Society and travel literature. An analysis of the manuscript sources and ensuing printed accounts of Browne’s 1668–1669 European travels gives rise to three key conclusions: firstly, that correspondence sent to the Society’s secretary, Henry Oldenburg (1619–1677), was not always unmediated and was at times edited by agents at home (in this case, Thomas Browne [1605–1682]); secondly, that articles sent directly to Oldenburg by Society agents were also subject to editorial influences other than those of the primary author; and, finally, that the family was a key network of creation, both in articles printed in the Philosophical Transactions and in independent works. Throughout, it will become clear that Edward Browne’s publications are not straightforwardly single authored: rather, they are the result of a wide variety of often obscured familial and social interactions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)368-398
Number of pages31
JournalStudies in Philology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Early modern history
  • travel writing
  • royal society
  • editing
  • manuscript
  • collaboration
  • correspondence
  • family
  • Early modern literature

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