'Gerhild Scholz Williams's learned and elegantly written study provides a beautifully coherent analysis of Paetorius's thought and of the seventeenth-century intellectual culture that informed it... Williams's skillful analysis of a broad selection of his writings provides numerous examples of his diverse 'ways of knowing' as it also provides fascinating insight into the lives of early modern men and women in the area of Leipzig. This exemplary study includes extensive, carefully-composed footnotes after each chapter and a blibliography.' Renaissance Quarterly '... lively and engagingly written study... Scholz Williams does an admirable job of bringing Praetorius's work and world to life in all its 'exuberant incoherence'. In doing so, she gives us a vibrant picture of a man who was arguably more representative of his age than the 'revolutionary' thinkers more familiar to historians of science.' Isis '... a highly accessible book that provides an intellectually satisfying and often entertaining read... Williams's book, in short, is highly recommended reading as a contribution that allows us to attempt to understand Praetorius in his context without having to 'make sense' of him except on his own terms.' H-Net Review 'Scholz Williams is to be commended for capturing [...] the breadth and depth of Praetorius's vision... This is a book worth reading and worth reading closely. Gerhild Scholz Williams, in placing before our eyes a largely forgotten body of literature, poses some significant questions about the nature of historical and scientific knowledge, about the task of the scholar, and about the construction of knowledge. It is a far more ambitious book than the title might suggest. And consequently, few books that I have read so call out for answers to the unanswered questions that stalk its pages like Rubezahl in the mountains of Silesia.' Sixteenth Century Journal
About the Author
Gerhild Scholz Williams is Barbara Schaps Thomas and David M. Thomas Professor in the Humanities and Associate Vice Chancellor at Washington University in St. Louis, USA.