Francis Lodwick FRS (1619-94) was a prosperous merchant, bibliophile, writer, thinker, and member of the Royal Society. He wrote extensively on language, religion, and experimental philosophy, most of it too controversial to be safely published during his lifetime. This edition includes the first publication of his unorthodox religious works alongside groundbreaking writings on language.
Following an extensive introduction by the editors the book is divided into three parts. Part One includes A Common Writing (1647), the first English attempt at an artificial language, and the equally pioneering phonetic alphabet set out in An Essay Towards an Universal Alphabet (1686). Part Two contains a series of linked short treatises on the nature of religion and divine revelation, including 'Of the Word of God' and 'Of the Use of Reason in Religion', in which Lodwick
argues for a new understanding of the Bible, advocates a rational approach to divine worship, and seeks to reinterpret received religion for an age of reason. The final part of the book contains his unpublished utopian fiction, A Country Not Named: here he creates a world to express his most firmly-held opinions on
language and religion, and in which his utopians found a church that bans the Bible. The book gives new insights into the religious aspects of the scientific revolution and throws fresh light on the early modern frame of mind. It is aimed at intellectual and cultural historians, historians of science and linguistics, and literary scholars - indeed, at all those interested in the interplay of ideas, language, and religion in seventeenth-century England
Felicity Henderson manages history of science events and exhibitions at the Royal Society. Previously she was based at King's College London, Cambridge University, where she was Munby Fellow in Bibliography, and Monash University, Melbourne. She works on seventeenth century intellectual history and manuscript culture. William Poole is Galsworthy Fellow and Tutor in English of New College, Oxford. He was formerly a Research Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge. He works on seventeenth-century textual scholarship and intellectual history. He has published many articles on aspects of literary, scientific, and intellectual history, and has edited various linguistic, theological, and bibliographical manuscripts from the period.
GENERAL INTRODUCTION ; TEXTUAL INTRODUCTION ; PART I: LANGUAGE-PLANNING ; A Common Writing ; The Ground-Work ; An Essay Towards an Universal Alphabet ; Concerning a Perfect, Universall Alfabeth ; Of The Universall Language ; A Designe Towards an Universall Alfabet ; That the Alfabet and orthografy of the English Tongue is Defective ; PART II: THEOLOGY ; Certain Observations ; Miscellany Discourses ; 'Of the Universe' and Other Essays ; PART III: A COUNTRY NOT NAMES ; PART IV: MISCELLANEOUS TEXTS AND CORRESPONDENCE ; Essay on Maintaining an Army in Peace-Time ; Essay on Trade ; Proposals for Rebuilding London ; Aphorisms ; Form of Prayer ; Lodwick's Correspondence ; COMMENTARIES, TEXTUAL APPARATUS AND BIBLIOGRAPHIES ; Index