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The Jewel House Audiobook

The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution

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Publisher's Summary

Best-selling author Deborah E. Harkness explores the streets, shops, back alleys, and gardens of Elizabethan London, where a boisterous and diverse group of men and women shared a keen interest in the study of nature. These assorted merchants, gardeners, barber-surgeons, midwives, instrument makers, mathematics teachers, engineers, alchemists, and other experimenters, she contends, formed a patchwork scientific community whose practices set the stage for the Scientific Revolution. It was their collaborative, yet often contentious, ethos that helped to develop the ideals of modern scientific research. The Jewel House examines six particularly fascinating episodes of scientific inquiry and dispute in 16th-century London, bringing to life the individuals involved and the challenges they faced. These men and women experimented and invented, argued and competed, waged wars in the press, and struggled to understand the complexities of the natural world. Together, their stories illuminate the blind alleys and surprising twists and turns taken as medieval philosophy gave way to the empirical, experimental culture that became a hallmark of the Scientific Revolution.

©2007 Deborah E. Harkness (P)2014 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

2.7 (23 )
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2.7 (23 )
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Story
2.9 (21 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Elizabeth 07-14-15
    Elizabeth 07-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great history!"

    Really wonderfully written history of Elizabethan London and the communities and networks that took part in creating a culture of science. This book is not a novel, if you were looking for that, but it is engaging, entertaining, and a enjoyable historical adventure through the streets of London with real people.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzanne Rauch 04-20-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very technical non fiction"

    I had listened to the other books by Deborah Harkness and expected more witchcraft stories. Although the history and background of the emergence of science in Elizabethan London was fascinating, I was really in the mood for a suspenseful story. This would be an excellent print companion to her other books as you're reading/listening to them.

    8 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    P. Mitchell Hamilton, OH 03-15-16
    P. Mitchell Hamilton, OH 03-15-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "This woman's voice drives me NUTS"

    I really was looking forward to this book. I like the author's fiction works and was interested in the subject matter. But Kate Reading's performance? NO. She e-nun-ci-ates every word so precisely, so precious, that I've started and stopped this book well over a dozen times. I may try it in print.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Doris Elaine Wilkinson 07-27-16
    ratings
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    3
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    Story
    "Should have read reviews first!"
    What would have made The Jewel House better?

    I love Deborah's work!!! And this was a little different, yes, but the real sticking point for me on this is the narrator... MY GOD its painful to listen to this.... and I had an English boss for 10 years so its not just that I am unfamiliar with the accent and tone/inflection.. Its just her voice and her speech pattern. It seems forced, I found I was spending too much time trying to concentrate on not being bothered by the choppy and forceful speech to actually enjoy the story.. I actually got a headache. I really hope Jennifer Ikeda takes care of the next series or I am not sure I will be able to listen!!!!


    If you’ve listened to books by Deborah E. Harkness before, how does this one compare?

    This pales in comparison to the other works. Content and performance wise...


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Reading’s performances?

    NO


    Any additional comments?

    Enough said.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William B Smale Minneapolis, Minnesota United States 05-25-16
    William B Smale Minneapolis, Minnesota United States 05-25-16 Member Since 2006

    Curmudgeon but fan of mysteries

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Good Material, Not great presentation"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    Very hard to listen to this reader for more than a short time, material is great but the reader is very uninspiring. I found the material more to the scholarly reference book rather than a non-fiction novel. You can see from this material how Deborah was able to use it in creating the Discovery of Witches series of books.


    Would you recommend The Jewel House to your friends? Why or why not?

    I think that reading the actual hard copy would be better as you could easily skip from part to part as it moves you. Many sections could be quickly skimmed and other read in detail depending on your interests.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Reading’s performances?

    Based on this book I would not seek out other books read by this reader.


    Do you think The Jewel House needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    This presents more like a reference book or a scholarly treatise, so unless Deborah has more research to present, this doesn't need any follow up.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Casey 01-23-15
    Pat Casey 01-23-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Not What I Expected"
    What disappointed you about The Jewel House?

    I had hoped this would be a story like other Deborah Harkness books - rather it is more like a scholarly dissertation on herbalism during Elizabethan times. If this is what you are interested in, then you will be happy because the book is thorough and well done - but it is not entertaining.


    5 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Heidi 11-16-14
    Heidi 11-16-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Horribly boring work, thought it was a novel."
    Would you be willing to try another one of Kate Reading’s performances?

    sure, it was the content not the narrator


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    I have had this account for a long time but this was a poor recommendation

    7 of 16 people found this review helpful

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