English Language and Literature ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 5-5-1962


From his own day to ours, the works of Sir Thomas Browne were never more popular than in the nineteenth century. His influence was great on the English Romantics and Victorians alike, and even more profound on the American Transcendentalists. He did not fare as well in the eighteenth century. One reason was the preoccupation of his literary executor, Bishop Tennison, who became Archbishop of Canterbury and probably had little time for literary chores; another was that some of Browne's literary remains fell into the hands of the notorious publisher Edmund Curll, who published hastily and without selection; but perhaps the compelling reason for Browne's eclipse was the final triumph of the lucid style promoted by the Royal Society, represented by the prose of Dryden and Addison. Their style was expository and conversational, appropriate to the age of enlightenment; Browne's was dark, and, by comparison, orotund, thriving on mysteries.

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First Committee Member (Chair)

Morris Freedman

Second Committee Member

Edith Buchanan

Third Committee Member

Norton Barr Crowell



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