Thomas Browne: Miscellany Tracts

(371 words)

None of his works better demonstrate the eclectic variety of Thomas Browne’s investigative interests than the anthology of essays, letters, and notes known as Miscellany Tracts. These were gathered together by his son Dr Edward Browne after his father’s death, and published posthumously by his first editor in 1683.

The manner in which the many tracts work through their subjects – scriptural plants, falconry, the Delphic oracle, and burial mounds, to name but a few – is typical of Browne’s historical and empirical habits of reading and observation. Virtually all the tracts are at the more arcane and recondite end of his intellectual spectrum, and today are of interest only to specialists in …

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Preston, Claire. "Miscellany Tracts". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 07 January 2006
[, accessed 10 October 2015.]