Did you ever find a book so fascinating you wanted to look at every copy in the world? Put that way I guess it sounds a bit mad, but that’s exactly what I’m planning on doing. Last weekend I started a new project – a census of Hooke’s Micrographia. Basically this means that I want to locate and describe every surviving copy of the 1665 and 1667 printings of Micrographia. It might be quite a mammoth task – my rare books guru has suggested there might be up to a thousand copies lurking in libraries and private collections around the world . . .
Since this blog is meant for a general audience I’m going to try to avoid confusing my readers with historians’ jargon. But I realise that my strapline ‘life and science in Restoration London’ is already possibly guilty of contravening that rule: does everyone know what Restoration London is? Sure, people who are interested in British history do. But I know (clever) people who need to think for a few seconds to remember whether the 17th century means the 1600s or the 1700s, so I’m going to err on the side of caution.