Impolite Learning

Conduct and Community in the Republic of Letters, 1680-1750
Author(s): 
Goldgar, Anne
ISBN: 
0300053592
Date published: 
January 1995
Paperback
Price: 
£25.00
Pages: 
400

In this original and entertaining book, Anne Goldgar argues the need for a cultural history of scholarship: an examination not of intellectuals' ideas or social circumstances, but of their world view. She describes an informal social and cultural community, the Republic of Letters, in which scholars were bound by a host of unwritten but sharply conceived social codes. By exploring the everyday interactions of scholars, the quarrels, gossip, sharing of books and information, she is able to tease out the substance of these codes, and thus evoke a striking portrait of the scholarly community as it conceived of itself.