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Spring at last: a mild evening with a breeze that wants to steal my hat. The city’s frisking, too, everyone out and fresh-mugged after weeks of hack and snuff and cough, our edges pink and weeping. Now all that’s done, and London is re-born.
Tonight I’ll get my supper at Mr. Longman-the-Publisher’s. A plain man of the old citizen-style is how one critic represents him, euphemizing somewhat, as befits a Poetaster.
Longman hawks his goods from two storefronts, the Black Swan and the adjacent Ship, on Paternoster Row, that crowded defile north of the Cathedral where the despots of literature reign supreme, over which the dome of St. Paul’s rises hatless, bald, resounding. The bells keep us close to invisible things: the time of day, angels and their wares.
Many a groan has gone up from authors who hang about this gloomy thorough-fare –
And there’s one of them now, leaning his rangy frame into Longman’s shaded door-step. I’ve seen him before, and I expected to see him again today; I even arrived early, the better to observe the tableau. Slink-limbed, slick-haired, with a shadow long as a prison day, he stands there shifting his skeleton inside his clothes, none too expensive, until Longman’s chestnut-plaited girl appears at the darkened Threshold. Leaning out the Dutch door, she beckons him while extracting from her apron’s pocket a twist of marbled end-paper in which she’s tucked a steaming bun so thickly buttered it waters my mouth. She hands it over – the bun, I mean – and he shyly returns a foolscap sheaf on which I can just make out a series of short lines and dashed stops. All ablush, she accepts this tribute, this posy of stutt’ring poesie, with a country benediction: Go on now, go. You fool. Shoo.
Her command sends me away, too. At once I am young again, hurtling back in time. Longman and I were raised on the other side of the City, near Hyde Park, where once it gave upon green fields border’d by a long tidy street lined with a rowhouses and, of course, the hospital. A sign over the entryway hinted at what St. George’s meant to those who lived but mostly died there: What a pleasure to be, in the town yet so near the country. Beyond was the Potter’s Field, where tremendous heads of cabbage raised themselves up through thin blankets of gray snow. Longman and I shared a tutor, although I had but a small gift for composition, even less for Latin and Greek. Longman, of course, was talented in all things academical. So were cast the dies of our lives. Not that we have since grown so different. Ounce for ounce, Longman’s wares on Paper, insofar as they are heavy, greatly resemble my own in Glass, which like Paper has a not insignificant Heft, particularly when massed in Sheets. That is not my only aspect which finds an echo in Longman. His profits, like mine, are as thin and fragile as the pages of his books and the Panes of his Windows, which are of my manufacture, and altogether comprise the object of my constant repair.
O, how they brake. Pebbles kicked up by a broody mare at day’s end, when her mind turns naturally to the comforts of the stable – just a handful of such restive projectiles suffices to fissure a Pane. Or Old Jack Frost, whose caress of a winter morning has more than once sent a Crack clear through. Not to mention the shattering occasioned by the stray flown Brick.
Masonry, too, has its Heft & demands its Due.
To wit: The immense Emporium of Longman’s boasts no fewer than fourteen Windows divided on the vertical by small Ionic pilasters, and marked out from the others on the street by a sign depicting a miniature iron crane, emblematic of the very heavy Commodities in which the proprietor is compelled to deal.
When Longman ordered his windows, I gave him a proper introduction to my Glass Works, so he might perceive directly all that supports the Manufacture of his Panes.
He came then to my Holdings in the Country, where I am free to burn my fires so long as I have fuel. Coal, that is, as our forests are by now so reduced. I took my time with Longman, introducing him to my Gatherer, tall and strong with shoulders of an ox. Upon my order he coaxed a hot blob of glass onto a steel rod and swung it, pendulating the gathered matter back and forth, back and forth, through a low channel until the bright hot Ball had flattened to a cold swung Disk.
As Longman watched, I sensed his own head fairly spinning. As it well might, for he is an attractive man, my Gatherer.
But how – how will you make a window from this? He pointed at the Disk.
I explained: As a Circle, properly geometris’d, may contain any number of Squares, so may a glass Disk, cut down and set within its proper Frame, eventuate in a Window.
I installed Longman’s panes myself, through several afternoons last summer. Our old acquaintance thus renewed, the publisher began to invite me to his Suppers.
Variants of Glass: Crown. Plate. Bull-Nose. Ox-Eye. The names repeat our priorities, which are royal and abdominal, the antipodal distances from the top of head to head of state to so-called cheese (it is in nowise cheese) manufactured from what butchers cast aside at the market in Smithfield. Smithfield! Another name to conjure with, meaning a smooth field, even though the ground there is as rough and pitted as any of my Disks.
We name things for ideals, not Realities.
Tonight’s supper bears a Future-face, with much talk of Science and free-thinking. As ever the assembly makes the party, and for tonight’s we have, from London:
A doctor, one Thomas Young. Softly padded and milky-skinned, he is his name, an ungathered person who requires the social equivalent of annealing. A Quaker, he wears the traditional black, though tonight he has eschewed the usual broad-brimmed Hat. With him is Longman’s bosom friend, the poet and antiquary George Ellis, whose struggle with opposed ideas shows in the parallel tracks scored deeply between his shrubby eyebrows, which are exceptionally wayward; and a dapper man by the name of Humphry Davy, presently expanding his pin-stripes, who is famed throughout London for his experiments with laughing-gas.
Longman, taking my elbow, steers me toward another stranger. He is from the North, a ruddy-cheeked and pot-bellied Barrister named Walter Scott who styles himself a poetaster. Beside him is another, also Northern and a poetaster: Thomas Campbell, formerly of the battle-field and lately of Edinburgh, as I am rapidly informed by the man himself. He wears a full shirt, with ruffles down the front, and he looks around as he speaks to me, as if in search of his next Conversation whilst immersed in this one. From his pressured murmurs I gather that he considers himself much in the shadow of the assembled company though he has so far restricted his Hostility to Glances. These fall mainly upon Dr. Irving, another ancient friend of Longman whose origins I do not know. At length he sets his gnarled and learned hands upon the table and smilingly surveys the group: Such guests as these could not be assembled at any other table in the Kingdom.
This flattery contains a kernel of truth, but not more than that. Other tables have hosted at least some of us, and despite my discomfort amidst the group, I’m not a complete stranger to it. Take Campbell, for instance: Though he just now greeted me as a stranger, we had already met at my first Longman’s dinner, ventured as I prepared to replace his Panes. The room was drafty and gave rise to strange currents, including a persistent smell of mildew caused by the London damp, or perhaps a ghost: ever-flexible, Longman maintained a few hypotheses. That night, I too sensed the odor, but it was soon displaced by another, rather strong, of something burnt and quite close, too.
I gasped. Playing with the candle, Campbell had managed to set alight my Sleeve.
The Poet glared – at my Sleeve. As if to blame it. My cheeks burned. Smoak!
Tonight Campbell, the Sleeve-burner, inspires general unease. Recently resettled in London, having toured the Continent and avoided capture by the French, he steeps his verses in strong Sentiment, wishing to claim Homer’s own throat and ears, if not his very tongue. As if he, Campbell, the fleeing soldier, heard the shrieks of the Achaeans as he composed. Shrieked. Fled.
He wishes to declaim. He is avid for listeners. That he wishes to hold an audience Rapt is clear from the greedy expression on his face. What he gets is otherwise. Truth discomfits, a pebble in the shoe. He is ignored; the table-talk turns academical. Referencing a present controversy on the lips of every wit from here to Battersea, Campbell asks, around an inciting wink, Now, boys, tell me true. Did Homer really write those books?
Scott, the Barrister, yawns. It would seem the answer hardly matters – Homer is not the sort of author over whose renown a shadow might fall – and yet on this subject Campbell wishes to start a fight.
In a Nut-Shell: The absence of a historical Homer makes the ongoing presence of his Texts rather hard to comprehend. Evidently this view originated at some Continental school. There, some Wolf or Wolff or Wolfe, having decided there had never been such a personage as Homer, recently published his reflections in a Book – all in Latin, and certainly not one of Longman’s better sellers. Yet it prompts Discourse.
Campbell presents the argument. His breath has the savor of boiled tripe. Outside, the lamp-lighter curses as a carriage passes close, rising pebbles that ring ferociously against the Panes. To still my wincing nerves I down my sherry in one go. Reaching with one hand to decant more, Longman with the other gestures for my cup.
I dislike this Blue Hour – how the light sidles in, diffused by the dirty glass. And our quarry – Homer, Homer! – has grown less interesting since we began to seek it.
Young discourses, oblivious to the general disinterest, apart from Campbell, who grows red about the ears.
Where did Homer live? Where was he born? The Teuton Wolf says it does not matter.
Ellis, the rascal, eggs him on: Does not matter, you say, my dear Dr. Young?
Because he did not exist!
Campbell splutters: Impossible. Say we don’t exist, rather.
Longman glances mildly over his pince-nez, but his skepticism puts some English on his exhale, as one might upon a Billiard-Ball.
Young maintains that the Author is an Illusion.
I peer over Ellis’ shoulder. The man is taking notes! Among these men Campbell does not appear to much Advantage: He is too ambitious to shine, nor is he successful in any of his Attempts. He is much inclined to dilate on the subject of Homer but on various points is opposed by Dr. Young.
How can there be no one behind the text? cries Walter Scott, the Barrister – who, of course, also writes.
What exists, Young continues, is only what is on the record! A long trail of transcribed, translated, incomplete, and fragmentary documents in which one might naturally expect to find interpolations and errors. Obscurities.
Calumny. Blasphemy. Fie. Hic!
Scott swallows: You terrify me, Sir.
But Ellis winkles, mischievous as a mud-lark: Should we not now treat Homer as a scientist might, and see his works as historical documents, the much-altered remnants of an early stage of human culture –
He slings a merry glance ‘round the table –
The assembly murmurs: hump-hump-harrumph-humph-humph. Science! has taken London by the scruff. This season, Improving Lectures are all the rage, and drawing rooms are full of talk of experiments with laughing gas and ether, with pigeons and sparrows collapsing in vacuum-sealed glass chambers. To demonstrate the weight of air, Sir Coxe Hippesley farts into a retort, and ladies succumb to fits of giggles. Such is the entertainment offered by the Royal Institution, that great metropolitan school of Science, recently installed in Mayfair, for diffusing Knowledge and facilitating the general introduction of useful mechanical Inventions and Improvements and for teaching, by courses of Philosophical Lectures and Experiments, the application of Science to the common purposes of life.
Where there are Improving Lectures, inevitably one may also find Demonstrations of Equipment, lately mainly for heating – coffee-pots, double-boilers, pressure-cookers, and the all the other highly-hyphenated like. Tonight’s table-talk partakes of the same thermic quality; I steam like a dumpling in the hot fog others’ erudition, and my Sleeves, formerly laundered crisp, grow limp. Of such nights as this I can only mop my brow and wonder, is there nothing lonelier than a Gathering?
The roast beef arrives, thin-sliced and rare, plattered with a Yorkshire pudding. Longman’s girl sends the dishes round, adjusting this and that. When her anxious ministrations send the pepper mill crashing to the floor, Longman roars over the scattered pieces, and she flits out, offended.
We lash our meat with sauce & salt. In lieu of the real thing, we pepper our talk with gossip about Count Rumford, the new Head of the Royal Institution, the local panjandrum of Improving Lectures in charge of scheduling them all and collecting on the tickets. A true believer and a good example, he would be utterly despicable if he were not so such a show-man. He amuses, Rumford does; he cultivates oddity, by for instance wearing only white in winter to conserve the Heat of his person and other such fashionable Non-sense.
I should add that Longman’s rooms are warmed by a small but wondrously efficient fireplace of Rumford’s personal design, a tall narrow chamber with an inner sleeve that pipes directly up the chimney to eliminate the Smoak. Mildew is also quite eliminated. The design is copied all over town. Even Jane Austen, Authoress, has been seen to pull her chair up to the one installed in Chapters Coffee House, where she takes her Inspiration with the Punch – and no one says that she does not exist.
The Barrister has taken up Rumford’s case. Rumford may be odd, he says. He is certainly irritating. But he urges the indolent and luxurious to interest themselves in practicalities – and that, you must admit, is all to the good.
Such persons, Longman demurs with a wave of his steak knife, can only be allured or shamed into action. And of the two, I prefer Allure. Benevolence should be fashionable.
He’s not universally liked, ahems Ellis. Perhaps we should just leave it there.
Fair, replies Longman, fairly.
No one knows that Rumford once visited my Glass Works, wishing to discourse with me about the effects of London’s atmosphere upon my product, and my production’s effects upon the same.
If you look closely, Rumford had said to me, you will observe small tree-like Crystallizations upon the Panes.
I rubbed one, and new world was revealed to me, a universe of Dirt Unseen.
Do not think them wholly Symbolical, he warned.
Sir, I am no Symbolist.
Nor are they mere Ornament, he replied. These Crystallizations consist of sulphate of ammonia, which is produced by the burning of vast quantities of Coal, combined with the sulfurous acid in the Atmosphere.
Sir, I repeated, my business runs on Coal. To forswear it would mean my Ruin.
Ah! So you are a Symbolist. Thanks to this Scourge, he continued, certain Flowers will not Bloom within ten Miles of London.
As Longman’s girl makes her unsmiling circuit, refilling our cups, Longman keeps an acquisitive eye upon her. She meets his gaze levelly and, as she passes, adjusts the napkin at his elbow. This intimacy suggests a thousand others. Does he know of her dispensation of the charitable Bun?
He probably doesn’t care, can’t be bothered to account, for he facilitates at all times an atmosphere of abundance. Porcelain gleams in the break-front, crystal glasses glisten against for-the-most-part white table-cloth, and the newfangled chimney gives off an odor of Smoak –
As my stupor deepens, brought on by Longman’s plonk, Campbell retails yet more gossip. To wit: When the War on England was ending, Rumford was bivouacked on Long Island with his battalion of our own Red-Coats. The news of the peace had not yet arrived. He commandeered the First Presbyterian as a garrison and plundered the grave-yard to build a Fort, called “Golgotha” by the local colonists, who were, of course, related to those whose Bones he had disturbed.
Which gives you an idea of their rage, says Scott.
Longman: And their desperation.
Scott: As we well know, up North.
Campbell clears his throat, silencing the side-talk. One hundred tombstones were repurposed, he declares. A number of them being used in the construction of Ovens.
Davy claps hands over ears: No more! I can’t bear it. What a terrible Narrative.
Campbell’s red-faced, gripped.
The cooked loaves bore Inscriptions, in reverse, on their undersides –
Intaglio, murmurs Longman. That is, of course, the Word for it.
Leaving impressions. On the Crusts!
Ellis sighs: That Rumford. Uses everything.
Young murmurs: A mortification.
Meanwhile Longman continues to ply his decanter. When Longman nears, Scott sets his hand over his glass. Too late! A drop of claret ruins the table-cloth. Ellis leans himself over the spot so that his flowing Sleeve conceals the error and turns to Young: And your lectures, Doctor? When do they commence?
In September, Young replies. I’ll give sixty next year, my dear Ellis.
Why that’s more than one a week!
Longman cannot resist the opportunity to plug the result, which he intends to publish under the title, A Course of Lectures on Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts.
Alas, I’m not adapted to be a popular lecturer, Young peeves. He has no understanding of Commerce and does not like to be Pimped by Longman, who frowns. But Young is correct. He is unsuited to lecturing. He can put a sentence together, surely – but he’s terse. Laconic. Dull. A man who, having dug himself into a Hole, prefers to remain there than to submit to the indignity of being helped out.
Nevertheless Longman, still hoping to sell a few copies, mollifies him with a murmur.
Young retorts: You are too kind. You see, I’ve insufficient Knowledge of the intellectual habits of the general run of men, to address myself prominently to those points of a Subject where their difficulties are likely to occur.
Davy, whose lectures are routinely packed, laughs: Har, har. Har, har.
Young, in a ferment: I would rather, however, be severely handled by one who understands something of a Subject, than be treated with affected contempt by a fool – which, by a strange fatality, has hitherto been my lot.
Your lot! Campbell, choaking on his roll, spews crumbs down his ruffled front. They fall also on Young, who shifts in his chair and conceals his disgust with a pained expression.
You have no idea how many well-sounding Books have been condemned, he cries, brushing the crumbs from his person with his napkin, because they contained too many hard words!
Longman claps a fatherly hand on his shoulder and nods in vague Agreement. Too late – the damage is done. Such reckless sociability soon becomes unsociable. One must, in these cases, cultivate a sympathy, and so I recall something Longman had told me some weeks ago, about how Young had suffered at the hands of another Scientist who attacked him for having dared a new Philosophical System known as the Wave Theory of Light.
Young’s attacker was another Scot, but not one of Longman’s group. These days Scotland is in vogue, the country’s burr on everyone’s lips and the city of Edinburgh, Athens of the North, the bright apple of tomorrow’s eye. A substantial Northern concern could spell wild success for Longman, who often talks of opening a branch there. A bud unfurls and extends toward Edinburgh. In its sap float Longman’s books.
The marauder had savaged Young: Dr. Young’s paper contains nothing which deserves the name, either of experiment or discovery. The paper is destitute of every species of merit –
Harsh, I replied, thinking it prudent to agree.
Succumbing to a chauvinism peculiar to men of the City, Longman concluded: No sooner had Young’s Memoir on Light appeared than he rushed to attack him with all the fierce savagery of his cattle-stealing, house-burning, marauding forebears.
Also harsh, I told Longman. Will you not need these marauders to purchase your wares?
Longman persisted: The attacker is known for his temper, for being a fierce and turbulent borderer with a mind like a row of pegs to hang grudges on. The effect which these powerful and repeated attacks produced upon the estimate of Dr. Young’s scientific Character was remarkable. The poison sank deep into the public mind.
Longman paused, and I tilted my head, allowing the silence to cure.
Though I’m sure the attacker had his Reasons, he said finally.
Reasons! The word pings around inside my brain, heating it. Here I sit with Longman’s Scots, but a croft burns ever in my mind’s eye. Elsewhere a ship lists to one side, dark heads bobbing in churned water while upon the main deck, the captain calculates the Sum he will be owed. O, so many reasons. But none will think on them, for too much thought disturbs their rest.
We all know what has been done in our names, I had then said to Longman.
You may be right, my friend. At any rate, Young published a Pamphlet of Rebuttal, of which one single Copy sold.
Remembering this conversation, I feel a pang for Young, who is still speaking.
When the Lectures are finished, he said, my pursuit of general science will terminate. From now on I have resolved to confine my studies and my pen to medical Subjects.
Longman consoles him: You’re better off, Dr. Young. The Institution has fallen into the hands of the enemy, & is now perverted to a hundred Uses for which it was never intended.
He pauses to take a pinch of snuff. At long last, the girl clears the plates. An odor of coffee tickles my nostrils. Campbell pushes the sugar bowl toward Young, who pushes it back.
Campbell smacks his own head. Oh, but I had forgotten. You are a Quaker.
I am a human being, sir. What we do to other human beings just to sweeten our mouths – well, it is unconscionable. Or so I find it.
Campbell scowls, his conscience pricked, as he plucks a rough cube from the bowl.
And so now, Young, what will you do? asks the Barrister, plainly eager to change the subject.
Young, modestly: As I have said, Medicine henceforth will be my Trade and my Profession.
Well, at least there’s money in it, Campbell remarks. You’ve heard of von Butchell?
The remark is a dagger wrapped in soft cloth. The Morning Chronicle has run the Quack’s Adverts for years: Healer of Mankind. Briton born and bred, aged sixty-two, a Christian strong with a comely Beard ten inches long, eight Legitimates, and another coming.
Fee is given first, Ellis jokes, repeating the Copy before lapsing again into a broad Scots burr. Do no’ ken bad notes, or evil dollars, fa’ WE NO TAKE ‘EM!
Now Longman and Ellis, being subject to aches and pains, are cannot resist Discoursing on medicaments. Wagtails and bread-crust plaster. Pills of lapis, bezoar-stones derived from the intestines of the Persian wild goat. Unicorn’s horn, remnants of mummy, stag-heart bone. Lac virginale. Godbold’s Balsam. Velno’s Syrup. Chapters Punch, which I have mentioned, is favored by Authoresses.
While the girl brings plates and a broad dish of steaming pie – gooseberry, from the odor – Young retails another anecdote: Last winter I dined at the Duke of Richmond’s, and there came in two doctors’ notes in answer to an inquiry – whether or no his Grace might venture to eat fruit pies or berries. I trembled for the honor of the profession. Luckily, however, they agreed tolerably well, the only difference of opinion being on the subject of Pie-Crust!
Polite smiles break out all round like a rash. Young offers no further explanation, leaving us to surmise the differences among the various Crusts, and so the spectral Rumford and his ovens continue to circle in the minds of the Assembly. A silence can play many tricks – that is the evening’s great lesson. Meanwhile the girl deploys the knife, cuts large slices that she plates and sends ‘round with a jug of cream; and Young, undiscouraged, explains that, while advancing his medico-surgical knowledge he has recently dissected an ox-eye purchased at Smithfield. The problem: How does Light refract through the Lens and its Aqueous Humor?
This hopeless man, over dessert, sees fit to speak of eyeballs.
He had to slice right through it, Longman says, in order to find out.
As Campbell excuses himself, Longman shakes with held-back laughter, and the rest of the company twinkles in response. Dessert continues to slide agreeably down throats. Young’s gaffe, it seems, will be over-looked.
Scott, changing the subject, speaks out the corner of his smirk.
It seems that an Antiquary of his acquaintance, a Perpetual Secretary of some Perpetual Society, has announced a specialty in Antient Egypt – more precisely, the subject of Sacred Writing.
Young perks up: Why, how did you know? That is an interest quite close to my Heart!
Encouraged, the Barrister expounds upon the latest views of the Egyptian Characters. It seems they may be wholly Symbolical, tinted panes through which reality may be grasped through clever Indirection. A Feather signifies the Sublime; a Pomegranate imports Fecundity from its multitudinous Seeds. An Eye is Providence; a Boat, orderly Conduct in the Government of the World.
Young: A boat is no such thing.
And in truth London is full of such celebrated clutter. Sphinxes and obelisks distract the mind, blinding us to mysteries closer to home. Our cruelty, for instance. In the North. Elsewhere.
Longman lifts his cup, sets it down. And so, my dear Scott?
And so, he breathes, exuding a vapor of sugared coffee and damp tweed, the true knowledge of the Hieroglyphics was immersed in extremest Antiquity. If any possess the skill of interpreting them, so it has remained with the Priests to the time of Cambyses; after that, the just understanding of them was lost –
Lost! cries Young, disbelieving.
Campbell, returning, makes a play for the wheel of Discourse by intoning lines of Northern heroism: Oscur, my Son, came down; the Mighty in Battle descended … There was the Clashing of Swords; there was the Voice of Steel. They stuck and they thrust; they digged for Death with their Swords … Here rest the Pursuer and the Pursued.
Ah, Davy murmurs. Have a care, man. My head.
Loosened by drink and perhaps exasperation, Scott roars his amusement. Not to be outdone, Longman hums a Culloden Air, drawing out the notes. Land of proud hearts and mountains gray, where Fingal fought and Ossian sung!
Ossian! A cry goes up. We have invoked Campbell’s personal Homer, a figure from the fog-wreathed northern past – a poet, a warrior, a hero. Glasses rise and tilt. There is still a drop or two in every cup.
Campbell presses: And is not Ossian proof of a Scots poetic genius independent of England?
Aye, Longman says. Not to mention the need for an autonomous Scots Militia.
Ho, ho –
Too late, too late! Campbell interrupts to recite additional lines of his own devising on the subject of Napoleon’s victory at Hohenlinden:
The combat deepens. On, ye brave, Who rush to glory, or the grave!
And quite the choice it was.
Don’t the words carry the meaning to your ear? I whisper to Longman, who favors me with a fleet smile.
The poem, very fine as it is, conveys no distinct Ideas to my mind, he says.
Wild-eyed Campbell surveys the assembly and, finding that he does not attract the attention to which he feels entitled, quits the room with a hasty Step –
Nor does he neglect to slam the Door, rattling – oh, my Heart – every blessed Pane.
In the ensuing quiet I peek at Young. His mind elsewhere, he stares at lamplight streaming in through the dirty Pane, refracted by densities that gather on Glass but fly on Smoak.
Italicized passages derive from the following sources:
Brougham, Henry. “On Young’s ‘Theory of Light and Colors.’” Edinburgh Review, 1803.
Campbell, Thomas. Life and Letters, 1849.
Peacock, George. The Life of Thomas Young, 1855.
Milburn, W. H. “Thomas Young, MD, FRS.” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine, 1890.
Murray, John. The World of London, 1844.
Stukeley, William. Palaeographia Sacra. Or, Discourses on Sacred Subjects, 1763.
Thompson, Benjamin, (Count Rumford). Works, 1796.
Thornbury, W. Old and New London, 1880.
Timbs, John. Curiosities of London, 1828.
Wolf, F. A. Prolegomena ad Homerum, 1805.Young, Thomas, “On the Theory of Light and Colors,” 1802; and idem, “Life of Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford,” 1855.
Diane Josefowicz is a novelist, historian, and editor. Her work has appeared in Liber, Conjunctions, Fence, Dame, LA Review of Books, and elsewhere. She is the author of a novel, Ready, Set, Oh (Flexible Press, 2022) and a novella, L'Air du Temps (1985), forthcoming from Regal House. With Jed Z. Buchwald, she is also the author of two histories of Egyptology, The Riddle of the Rosetta (2020) and The Zodiac of Paris (2010), both from Princeton University Press. She serves as reviews editor at Necessary Fiction, associate fiction editor at West Trade Review, and director of communications for Swing Left Rhode Island, a progressive political organization focused on electoral work, voter protection, and voting rights. She holds an MFA from Columbia University, a PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a BA from Brown University. She lives in Providence, Rhode Island.