"Reason and The Imagination",
a review by Carroll Quigley in The Washington Sunday Star, March xx 1962,
of a book:
REASON AND THE IMAGINATION: Studies in the History of Ideas, 1600-1800,
by J. A. Mazzeo, editor.
New York: Columbia University Press, 1962
"Reason and The Imagination"
REASON AND THE IMAGINATION: Studies in the History of Ideas, 1600-1800 .
Edited by Judith A. Mazzeo.
Columbia University Press, 321 pp; $6.50.
This collection of fourteen essays is dedicated to Marjorie Hope
Nicholson and is divided equally between works of her colleagues and of her
former students. The papers themselves are divided as well into seven which
consider a specific author or work (usually a single passage or episode in a
major writer) and those which are concerned with a broader problem. Of the seven
studies launched from the consideration of a specific work, three are derived
from problems based on Milton. These include A.O. Lovejoy on Milton’s astronomy,
M.A.N. Radzinowicz on Milton’s theory of regeneration as shown in Eve and Dalila,
and A.D. Ferry on Milton’s personal involvement in the idea of “the fortunate
fall” of Man. A fourth article based on Milton is William Haller’s on “The
Tragedy of God’s Englishman”. The other four papers derived from specific works
are M. K. Starkman on Herrick’s Noble Numbers, Ralph Cohen on eighteenth century
illustrations of Thomson’s The Seasons, R.S. Crane on Gulliver’s fourth voyage,
and Ernest Tuveson on Sterne’s attitude toward John Locke’s Essay. The more
general papers are Douglas Bush on the Renaissance hero, J.A. Mazzeo on Cromwell
as Davidic King, R.F. Jones on the humanistic defense of learning against
Puritan critiques about 1650, D.L. Colie on the role of paradox in the language
of the period, and G.L. Finney on the persistance in England of Galenic and
Pythagorean ideas on the medical value of music.
The volume ends with a note on the intellectual contribution of
Marjorie Hope Nicolson, a bibliography of her writings, and an index to the
whole volume. Although the papers are, on the whole, too specialized for the
general reader, they do reassure him that the history of ideas in the
seventeenth and eighteenth centuries has, through the teaching of Lovejoy and
Nicolson, escaped the alienation into “Two Societies” which Sir C.P. Snow
believes he can discern in the twentieth century.
-- Carroll Quigley
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