The image of Restoration science: the frontispiece of Sprat’s 'History of the Royal Society'

Public history of science lecture by Professor Michael Hunter

sprat Frontispiece of Thomas Sprat's 'History of the Royal Society'

Event details

Michael Hunter is Emeritus Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London.

Wenceslaus Hollar’s print celebrating Charles II as founder of the Royal Society, based on a design by John Evelyn, has been much reproduced but little studied. In 1981, Michael Hunter showed that it was originally intended, not for Sprat’sHistory, but for an apologetic work by John Beale that proved abortive.

In this talk he will recapitulate those findings and will also examine the image in its own right, analysing its debt to earlier exemplars and considering the significance of the various components of the design. He will also investigate aspects of the print’s publishing history, and particularly the extent to which choice copies of it were produced, probably at the behest of Evelyn.

Attending this event

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12.30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

We have a limited number of spaces for wheelchair users and ten bookable seats for people with impaired mobility who are unable to queue. To book in advance, please contact the events team. Further information about accessibility is available.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days after the event.

Enquiries: Contact the events team

The image of Restoration science: the frontispiece of Sprat’s 'History of the Royal Society' 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The interaction of fire and mankind 14 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Professor Claire Belcher and Dr Chris Roos
  • The interaction of fire and mankind - further discussion 16 September 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Dr Claire Belcher and Professor Chris Roos
  • Volcanoes and us 28 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Discover why volcanoes matter as Steve Sparks FRS talks to Jim Al-Khalili OBE.

For more events please see the events diary.

Share this page