"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)


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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