Thomas Browne: Religio Medici

(1159 words)

It is far from clear that Thomas Browne ever considered publishing Religio Medici, his first and most influential work. Written during his medical apprenticeship in the mid-1630s, this essay on the religion of a doctor was (in typical fashion) circulated in multiple manuscripts among friends for seven years until 1642, when Andrew Crooke, an enterprising publisher of controversialist writing, obtained it and printed it anonymously, without the author's permission or knowledge. What Browne would later describe as “a private exercise directed to myself” was an immediate commercial success, and Crooke quickly brought out a second edition. Browne, meanwhile, had wind of a work about to be published by the colourful savant Sir …

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Citation:
Preston, Claire. "Religio Medici". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 June 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2417, accessed 23 November 2014.]