John Evelyn

John Evelyn : Living for Ingenuity

By (author) Gillian Darley

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This new biography of John Evelyn, diarist, scholar, and intellectual virtuoso (1620-1706), is the first account to make full use of his huge unpublished archive, deposited at the British Library in 1995. This crucial material permits a broader and richer picture of Evelyn, his life, and his friendships than permitted by his own celebrated diaries. Gillian Darley provides a rounded portrait of Evelyn's eighty-five years--his family life, his exile in Paris, his interests, and his preoccupations. Evelyn lived through some of England's most tumultuous history, through five reigns, the Civil War, the Restoration, and the Revolution of 1688. He was author or translator of countless publications, tackling an enormous variety of contemporary issues. Both a religious man and a key figure in the Royal Society, he viewed Christianity and the new science as wholly compatible. Evelyn remained endlessly curious and engaged into very old age, and this absorbing biography demonstrates the liveliness of his hugely busy mind.

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  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 165.1 x 233.7 x 40.6mm | 698.54g
  • 28 Feb 2007
  • Yale University Press
  • New Haven
  • English
  • 36 black-&-white illustrations
  • 0300112270
  • 9780300112276
  • 1,058,983

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Author Information

Gillian Darley is the author of John Soane: An Accidental Romantic, published by Yale University Press. She was architectural correspondent of the Observer, 1990-94.

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Review quote

"'The more I know him the more I love him', Samuel Pepys."

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