WorldCat Identities

Delbourgo, James 1972-

Works: 10 works in 47 publications in 2 languages and 1,444 library holdings
Genres: History  Biography  Biographies  Academic theses 
Roles: Author
Publication Timeline
Most widely held works by James Delbourgo
A most amazing scene of wonders : electricity and enlightenment in early America by James Delbourgo( Book )

7 editions published in 2006 in English and held by 514 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

"In this book, James Delbourgo traces the path of electricity through early American culture, exploring how the relationship among human, natural, and divine powers was understood in the eighteenth century. By examining the lives and visions of natural philosophers, spectacular showmen, religious preachers, and medical therapists, he shows how electrical experiences of wonder, terror, and awe were connected to a broad array of cultural concerns that defined the American Enlightenment. The history of lightning rods, electrical demonstrations, electric eels, and medical electricity reveals how early American science, medicine, and technology were shaped by a culture of commercial performance, evangelical religion, and republican politics from mid-century to the early republic."
Collecting the world : Hans Sloane and the origins of the British Museum by James Delbourgo( Book )

7 editions published between 2017 and 2019 in English and held by 397 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

In 1759 the British Museum opened its doors to the general public--the first free national museum in the world. James Delbourgo's biography of Hans Sloane recounts the story behind its creation, told through the life of a figure with an insatiable ambition to pit universal knowledge against superstition and the means to realize his dream. Born in northern Ireland in 1660, Sloane amassed a fortune as a London society physician, becoming a member of the Whig establishment and president of the Royal Society and Royal College of Physicians. His wealth and contacts enabled him to assemble an encyclopedic collection of specimens and objects--the most famous cabinet of curiosities of its time. For Sloane, however, collecting a world of objects meant collecting a world of people, including slaves. His marriage to the heir of sugar plantations in Jamaica gave Sloane access to the experiences of planters and the folkways of their human property. With few curbs on his passion for collecting, he established a network of agents to supply artifacts from China, India, North America, the Caribbean, and beyond. Wampum beads, rare manuscripts, a shoe made from human skin--nothing was off limits to Sloane's imagination. This splendidly illustrated volume offers a new perspective on the entanglements of global scientific discovery with imperialism in the eighteenth century. The first biography of Sloane based on the full range of his writings and collections, Collecting the World tells the rich and complex story of one of the Enlightenment's most controversial luminaries.--
Science and empire in the Atlantic world by James Delbourgo( Book )

15 editions published between 2007 and 2008 in English and held by 361 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

The first book to examine the making of scientific knowledge in the early modern Americas from a comparative and international perspective. Connecting Atlantic history with the history of science, the chapters explore how knowledge and the colonial order were made together, through complex interactions between metropolitan travelers, Creole settlers, Amerindians, and African slaves
Collecting the world : the life and curiosity of Hans Sloane by James Delbourgo( Book )

12 editions published between 2017 and 2018 in English and held by 156 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Hans Sloane (1660-1753) was the greatest collector of his time. Born in the north of Ireland, Sloane made his fortune as a physician to London's wealthiest residents and through investment in land and slavery. He became one of the eighteenth century's preeminent natural historians and assembled an astonishing collection of specimens, artefacts and oddities - the most famous curiosity cabinet of the age. Shortly after his death, Sloane's vast collection was acquired - as he had hoped - by the nation. It became the nucleus of the world's first national public museum, the British Museum, which opened in 1759. This is the first biography of Sloane in over sixty years and the first based on his surviving collections. Early modern science and collecting are shown to be global endeavours intertwined with imperial enterprise and slavery but which nonetheless gave rise to one of the great public institutions of the Enlightenment, as the cabinet of curiosities gave way to the encyclopaedic museum. 'Collecting the world' describes this pivotal moment in the emergence of modern knowledge, and brings this totemic figure back to life
Electricity, experiment and enlightenment in eighteenth-century North America by James Delbourgo( )

1 edition published in 2003 in English and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Money matters by James Delbourgo( )

1 edition published in 2018 in English and held by 4 WorldCat member libraries worldwide

Electricity, experiment and enlightenment in eigtheenth-century North America by James Delbourgo( )

1 edition published in 2003 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Common sense, useful knowledge, and matters of fact in the late Enlightenment : the transatlantic career of Perkin's tractors by James Delbourgo( )

1 edition published in 2004 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Die Wunderkammer als Ort von Neugier, Horror und Freiheit by James Delbourgo( )

1 edition published in 2015 in German and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

The seven ages of science( Recording )

1 edition published in 2013 in English and held by 1 WorldCat member library worldwide

Radio documentary presented by Lisa Jardine who traces the evolution of scientific endeavour in Britain over the last four centuries. In this episode she explores how Britain's desire for Empire helped to promote a scientific interest in plants. Lisa Jardine talks about Sir Hans Sloane, one of the great botanic collectors of the 18th century, and how when he took over as president of the Royal Society, there was a shift away from mathematics and mechanics towards botany. Emeritus professor of History, David Arnold, discusses the new scientific emphasis on classification and organisation and the challenge to bring order to the mass of material being collected. Science historian, James Delbourgo, talks about Sloane's collections and his importance. Charlie Jarvis, curator of the Sloane Herbarium at the Natural History Museum in London, discusses the Herbarium and Sloane's work. He points out that slaves were probably used in the collection of specimens. In the early 18th century, Swedish physician Carl Linnaeus, who visited Sloane in London, decided to organise plants by their sexual parts and is now celebrated as the father of taxonomy. Andrea Wulf, author of The Founding Gardners, talks about the sexual system of classification and Linnaeus. His system captured the imagination of Joseph Banks, who travelled with Captain Cook on the Endeavour. Banks' biographer, Richard Holmes, talks briefly about him. Judith Magee, Head of Special Collections at the Natural History Museum, mentions the plant drawings that were done on the Endeavour as an aid to classification and naming. In the wider sphere, women went botanising and drawing, and embroidered botanically correct flowers. The language of botany also permeated astronomy. William Herschel made astronomical observations and his sister Caroline provided technical support in helping to analyse the results. They were from a family of gardeners and frequently used botanical language. Herschel compared galaxies to plants and did delicate drawings of them. The Herschel's way of observing is discussed and how this differed to that at Greenwich. In the 18th century the work of astronomers was mapping stars to enable ships to travel the globe. David Arnold talks about the way botany opened up possibilities for agricultural development driven by a new sense of ecology and how plants might fare elsewhere. At the same time the quest for profit led to competition for colonies and commodities and the new science of botany ended up supporting a global botanical empire which included slavery and imperial ambition. Richard Holmes suggests that some of the innocence at the beginning of Empire, involving curiousity and discovery of plants, seems to be lost later on
Audience Level
Audience Level
  Kids General Special  
Audience level: 0.53 (from 0.43 for A most ama ... to 0.96 for Die Wunder ...)

A most amazing scene of wonders : electricity and enlightenment in early America
Science and empire in the Atlantic world
English (46)

German (1)