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"Puffs of Smoke, Puffs of Praise": Reconsidering John Evelyn's Fumifugium

“Puffs of Smoke, Puffs of Praise”: Reconsidering John Evelyn’s Fumifugium

Denton, Peter

Canadian Journal of History, vol. 35:3 (2000)

Abstract

Books tend to be seen as the packaging unit for ideas, and thus are read and evaluated for their content. As scholars writing on l’histoire du livre have demonstrated, however, a “book” is not a static entity, nor is its production as neat and definable a process as the finished item might suggest.While ideas contained in a book can transcend the boundaries set by its form, here we will take a more unusual tack to argue the mere existence of a book might transcend the significance of its contents. This article focuses on one seventeenth-century text, and uses the printing context of interregnum England to cast a significant side-light on the circumstances of this book’s production and thus on the status-as-object of the printed book itself.

Click here to read this article from the Canadian Journal of History

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