Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2006

Publication Title

The Princeton University Library Chronicle


Although relatively few readers today may have heard of Sir Thomas Browne (1605–1682), the works of this essayist, doctor, and amateur scientist cast long literary shadows. Among those influenced or inspired by Browne are Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Herman Melville, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, and W. G. Sebald. The admiration of later generations has to do in part with Browne’s style, for he is widely regarded as one of the finest prose writers in the English language. However, Browne’s wide-ranging intellectual interests, his love of paradoxes, and his playful personality have surely also contributed to his popularity. Combining a skeptical, scientific temperament with a fascination with religion and its mysteries, Browne seems to many readers to embody the most appealing elements of Renaissance humanism, the Reformation, and the Scientific Revolution.

Original Published Citation

Brooke Conti. “Sir Thomas Browne’s Annotated Copy of His 1642 Religio Medici.” The Princeton University Library Chronicle, vol. 67, no. 3, 2006, pp. 595–610. JSTOR,



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