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Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine

Margherita Sarrocchi's Letters to Galileo

Astronomy, Astrology, and Poetics in Seventeenth-Century Italy

Authors: Ray, Meredith

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eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59603-1
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  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $54.99
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  • ISBN 978-1-137-59769-4
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About this book

This book examines a pivotal moment in the history of science and women’s place in it. Meredith Ray offers the first in-depth study and complete English translation of the fascinating correspondence between Margherita Sarrocchi (1560-1617), a natural philosopher and author of the epic poem, Scanderbeide (1623), and famed astronomer, Galileo Galilei. Their correspondence, undertaken soon after the publication of Galileo’s Sidereus Nuncius, reveals how Sarrocchi approached Galileo for his help revising her epic poem, offering, in return, her endorsement of his recent telescopic discoveries. Situated against the vibrant and often contentious backdrop of early modern intellectual and academic culture, their letters illustrate, in miniature, that the Scientific Revolution was, in fact, the product of a long evolution with roots in the deep connections between literary and scientific exchanges.  



About the authors

Meredith K. Ray is Associate Professor of Italian at the University of Delaware, USA. She is the author of Daughters of Alchemy: Women and Scientific Culture in Early Modern Italy and Writing Gender: Women’s Letter Collections of the Italian Renaissance.      

Reviews

“The slim volume will be a resource not just for readers and researchers but also for classroom discussion, where the letters could serve as great primary sources to feature in a number of course contexts. Enjoy!” (Carla Nappi, New Books network, newbooksnetwork.com, March, 2017)


“We have long known about Galileo's correspondence with his eldest daughter Virginia. In this critical edition of his correspondence with Margherita Sarrocchi, Meredith Ray illuminates his relationship with one of the most fascinating women writers of his age. Sarrocchi was a powerful cultural broker in Rome and a controversial figure. In their letters a dialogue about science and literature emerges, shortly after Galileo came to Rome to publicize and defend his discoveries with the telescope.  A marvelous addition to Galileo scholarship and translations, and to the recent work that is making Sarrocchi more well-known.” (Paula Findlen, Ubaldo Pierotti Professor of Italian History and Director of the Suppes Center for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, Stanford University, USA)

“Ray’s study expertly illuminates a remarkable moment within the history of early modern women’s engagement with scientific culture, while at the same time revealing some less familiar aspects of Galileo’s cultural persona, as not merely a ground-breaking empirical scientist, but also a sought-after caster of ‘nativities,’ or horoscopes, and a respected authority on literary style. Thorough in its scholarship and scrupulously annotated, Ray’s short book makes an excellent general introduction to this transitional moment in the history of science.” (Virginia Cox, Professor of Italian, New York University, USA)

“This book allows readers a valuable new window through which to see the complexities of a woman's active role in intellectual debates in early modern Rome. Meredith Ray's extensive research adds nuance to our understanding of the cooperation between literary and scientific circles just before debates about Copernicanism erupt in Italy. Ray's presentation of Margherita Sarrocchi's letters reveals intriguing new aspects of Galileo's persona, but, most importantly, offers a rare glimpse of a dynamic female knowledge broker at work alongside him.” (Crystal Hall, Associate Professor in the Digital Humanities, Bowdoin College, USA)

Table of contents (3 chapters)

  • Introduction

    Ray, Meredith K.

    Pages 1-14

  • Astronomy, Astrology, and Poetics in Seventeenth-Century Italy

    Ray, Meredith K.

    Pages 15-65

  • Translation of the Correspondence of Margherita Sarrocchi and Galileo (With Three Related Letters)

    Ray, Meredith K.

    Pages 67-84

Buy this book

eBook $39.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59603-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $54.99
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-59769-4
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.

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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Margherita Sarrocchi's Letters to Galileo
Book Subtitle
Astronomy, Astrology, and Poetics in Seventeenth-Century Italy
Authors
Series Title
Palgrave Studies in Literature, Science and Medicine
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan US
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-59603-1
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-59603-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-59769-4
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XII, 98
Number of Illustrations and Tables
1 b/w illustrations
Topics