Eighteenth-Century Fiction journal

Eighteenth-Century Fiction, a McMaster University journal

9 notes

lindahall:

Pierre Lyonet - Scientist of the Day

Pierre Lyonet, a French illustrator and microscopist, was born July 22, 1708. Lyonet did most of the drawings for Abraham Trembley’s classic Mémoires pour servir à l’histoire d’un genre de polypes d’eau douce (Memoir on fresh-water polyps, 1744), which revealed that tiny Hydra, the miniature medusa-like denizens of swamp water, could regenerate all their missing parts after being cut into pieces (see first image above).

Having earned his spurs at Trembley’s microscope and the drafting table, Lyonet set off on his own, and in 1762 he published Traité anatomique de la chenille qui ronge le bois de saule (Anatomical treatise on the willow caterpillar), which, in numerous engravings, showed every single muscle, nerve, organ, and duct of what we now call the goat-moth caterpillar. The drawings were so detailed that some critics doubted that that such precise observation was possible. In fact, the details were real. Lyonet made his observations with a single-lens microscope of his own design, with the lens suspended on the end of a tiny segmented arm which could be easily moved around over the dissecting table, an integral part of the microscope. In our 2009 exhibition, Singular Beauty, we displayed several single-lens dissecting microscopes, and we also displayed Lyonet’s book, which has an illustration of his microscope (second image), as well as many exquisite engravings of caterpillar innards (third image).

Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Filed under 18th-century science

14 notes

The original meaning of horse power: a throwster uses equine muscles to move a gigantic machine for spinning plant fibres into yarn prior to the weaving process of making fabric. Learned a new word today: “throwster,” “one who twists silk fibres [or other fibres, such as flax] into raw silk or raw silk into thread, a silk-throwster; originally, a woman who did this” (OED online). This image is from Dennis De Coetlogon, An Universal History of Arts and Sciences; Or, A Comprehensive Illustration, Definition, and Description of All Sciences, Divine and Human; and of All Arts, Liberal and Mechanical (London: J. Hart, 1745).
Read Eighteenth-Century Fiction journal online via institutional subscription at Project MUSE: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth_century_fiction/

The original meaning of horse power: a throwster uses equine muscles to move a gigantic machine for spinning plant fibres into yarn prior to the weaving process of making fabric. Learned a new word today: “throwster,” “one who twists silk fibres [or other fibres, such as flax] into raw silk or raw silk into thread, a silk-throwster; originally, a woman who did this” (OED online). This image is from Dennis De Coetlogon, An Universal History of Arts and Sciences; Or, A Comprehensive Illustration, Definition, and Description of All Sciences, Divine and Human; and of All Arts, Liberal and Mechanical (London: J. Hart, 1745).

Read Eighteenth-Century Fiction journal online via institutional subscription at Project MUSE: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth_century_fiction/

Filed under 18th-century engraving 18th-century labour 18th-century machines universal history horsepower fiber history Eighteenth-Century Fiction

24 notes

Elaborate engraving from the book Designs by Mr. R. Bentley, for six poems by Mr. T. Gray (London: R. Dodsley, 1753). I think the musing man under the tree represents the poet, but what are the monkey-man hybrids on either side supposed to be? Creepy. One of them plays the violin? This image could take a long time to decipher.
Read Eighteenth-Century Fiction journal online via institutional subscription at Project MUSE: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth_century_fiction/

Elaborate engraving from the book Designs by Mr. R. Bentley, for six poems by Mr. T. Gray (London: R. Dodsley, 1753). I think the musing man under the tree represents the poet, but what are the monkey-man hybrids on either side supposed to be? Creepy. One of them plays the violin? This image could take a long time to decipher.

Read Eighteenth-Century Fiction journal online via institutional subscription at Project MUSE: http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/eighteenth_century_fiction/

Filed under 18th-century engraving 18th-century frontispiece frontispiece Thomas Gray Eighteenth-Century Fiction

23 notes

calypsogemini:

The Nightmare by Fuseli (1781)
So on his Nightmare through the evening fog Flits the squab Fiend o’er fen, and lake, and bog; Seeks some love-wilder’d maid with sleep oppress’d, Alights, and grinning sits upon her breast.
— Erasmus Darwin

calypsogemini:

The Nightmare by Fuseli (1781)

So on his Nightmare through the evening fog
Flits the squab Fiend o’er fen, and lake, and bog;
Seeks some love-wilder’d maid with sleep oppress’d,
Alights, and grinning sits upon her breast.

— Erasmus Darwin

Filed under 18th-Century Art