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Hutton: Man in the Moone (2005) (Read 1472 times)

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Hutton: Man in the Moone (2005)
13.03.2007 at 15:02:22
Sarah Hutton: 'The Man in the Moone' and the New Astonomy: Godwin, Gilbert, Kepler
From/in: Etudes Epistémè 7 (2005/1)
Résumé anglais

My study discusses the sources of a text which has strong claims to being regarded as the first piece of science fiction in the English language. The Man in the Moone (1638) by Francis Godwin recounts an imaginary journey to the moon by its hero, Domingo Gonsales. It was written in the context of new astronomical theories, among which the most well known are those of Copernicus, Tycho Brahe and Galileo. Although some of his contemporaries (for example John Donne and William Drummond of Hawthornden) expressed disquiet about the unsettling implications of such theories, Godwin uses them as a central element in his story. Like Kepler, in his Somnium …de astronomia lunaris, Godwin utilises fiction in order to confirm aspects of new scientific theory — especially the diurnal rotation of the earth. But, as I show, his imaginary journey chiefly draws on the magnetic philosophy of this English contemporary, William Gilbert, especially the lunar theory proposed by Gilbert in his De magnete and further elaborated in his De mundo sublunaris.
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for contact information etc. concerning hck (Heinrich C. Kuhn): see http://www.phil-hum-ren.uni-muenchen.de/php/Kuhn/
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