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Book Title: Urn Burial|
The author of the book: Thomas Browne
Edition: New Directions
The size of the: 787 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.6
Date of issue: October 26th 2010
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Format files: PDF
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Urn Burial, one of the most influential essays in Western literature, is now available as a New Directions Pearl.
Hydriotaphia, or Urn Burial, is one of the pinnacles of Renaissance scholarship and without doubt one of the great essays in English literature. Beginning with observations on the recent discovery of Roman antiquities in the form of burial urns, Browne’s associative mind wanders to elephant graveyards, to pre-Christian cremation ceremonies, and finally to the idea of Christian burial. Browne then explores, with a more melancholic meditation, man’s struggles with mortality and the uncertainty of his fate and fame in the living world. This edition includes a magisterial discourse on Sir Thomas Browne taken from the first chapter of W. G. Sebald’s The Rings of Saturn.
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Read information about the authorBrowne's writings display a deep curiosity towards the natural world, influenced by the scientific revolution of Baconian enquiry. Browne's literary works are permeated by references to Classical and Biblical sources as well as the idiosyncrasies of his own personality. Although often described as suffering from melancholia, his writings are also characterised by wit and subtle humour, while his literary style is varied, according to genre, resulting in a rich, unique prose which ranges from rough notebook observations to polished Baroque eloquence.
After graduating M.A. from Broadgates Hall, Oxford (1629), he studied medicine privately and worked as an assistant to an Oxford doctor. He then attended the Universities of Montpellier and Padua, and in 1633 he was graduated M.D. at Leiden.
Browne's medical education in Europe also earned him incorporation as M.D. from Oxford, and in 1637 he moved to Norwich, where he lived and practiced medicine until his death in 1682. While Browne seems to have had a keen intellect and was interested in many subjects, his life was outwardly uneventful, although during the Civil War he declared his support for King Charles I and received a knighthood from King Charles II in 1671.
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