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Dr Stephen Pumfrey, Department of History, Furness College, Lancaster University, LA1 4YG UK
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Gilbert Scholarship Secondary Sources

The sources below are listed in alphabetical order by author.



Abromitis, Lois Irene. "William Gilbert as Scientist: The Portrait of a Renaissance Amateur";. Ph.D. dissertation. Brown University, 1977.


Baldwin, Martha. "Magnetism and the Anti-Copernican Polemic." Journal for the History of Astronomy 16 (1985): 155-74.

Balmer, Heinz. Beitrage zur geschichte der Erkenntnis des Erdmagnetismus. Zurich, 1956.

Bayon, H. P. "William Gilbert (1544-1603), Robert Fludd (1574-1637) and William Harvey (1587-1637) as Medical Exponents of Baconian Doctrines." Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 32 (1938): 31-42.

Bedini, Silvio A. "Seventeenth Century Magnetic Timepieces." Physis 11 (1969): 37-68.

Benjamin, Park. A History of Electricity: From Antiquity to the Days of Benjamin Franklin. New York, 1898.

-. The intellectual rise of electricity: a history. New York, 1895.

Bennett, J. A. "Cosmology and the Magnetical Philosophy." Journal for the History of Astronomy 12 (1981): 165-77.

Bennett, J. A. "Magnetical Philosophy and Astronomy from Wilkins to Hooke." In Planetary Astronomy from the Renaissance to the Rise of Astrophysics, Part A: Tycho Brahe to Newton , edited by R. Taton and C. Wilson, 222-30. Cambridge, 1989.

-. The divided circle: a history of instruments for astronomy, navigation and surveying. Oxford, 1987.

Boas, Marie. "Bacon and Gilbert." Journal for the History of Ideas 12 (1951): 466-7. (link to JSTOR)

Boyer, C. P. "William Gilbert on the Rainbow." American Journal of Physics 20 (1952): 416-21.


Chalmers, G. K. "The lodestone and the understanding of matter in seventeenth-century England." Philosophy of Science 4 (1937): 75-95.

Claman, Henry M. "Dr. William Gilbert - England's First Great Scientist." New England Journal of Medicine 263 (1960): 911-13.

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Daujat, Jean. Origines et Formation de la Theorie des Phenomenes Electriques et Magnetiques. 3 vols. Paris, 1945.

Debus, Allen G. "Robert Fludd and the Use of Gilbert's "De Magnete"; in the Weapon Salve Controversy." Journal for the History of Medicine and the Allied Sciences 19 (1964): 389-417. (link to Oxford Journals)

Deusen, Neil C. van. Telesio - the first of the moderns. New York, 1932.


EAU. "Dr. William Gilbert (1544-1603)." British Medical Journal , 1944: 123.


Fara, Patricia. Sympathetic Attractions: magnetic practices, belifs and symbolism in eighteenth-century England. Princeton, NJ, 1996.

Feingold, Mordechai. The mathematician's apprenticeship: science, universities and society in England, 1560-1640. Cambridge, 1984.

Field, J. V. "Kepler's Rejection of Solid Celestial Spheres." Vistas in Astronomy 23 (1980): 207-11.

Fletcher, Angus. "Living Magnets, Paracelsian Corpses and the Psychology of Grace in Donne's Religious Verse." ELH 72 (2005): 1-22.

Freudenthal, Gad. "Theory of Matter and Cosmology in William Gilbert's 'De Magnete'." Isis 74 (1983): 22-37. (link to JSTOR)


Gatti, Hilary. Essays on Giordano Bruno. Princeton, 2010.

-. Giordano Bruno and Renaissance science. Ithaca, NY, 1999.

Gill, M. L., and J. G. Lennox, . See Self-Motion, From Aristotle to Newton. Princeton, NY, 1994.


Hall, A. R. "The scholar and the craftsman in the scientific revolution." In Critical problems in the history of science , edited by M. Clagett, 3-23. Madison, MW, 1969.

Harkness, Deborah E. The Jewel House: Elizabethan London and the Scientific Revolution. Yale, 2007.

Harradon, H. D. "Some early contributions to the History of Geomagnetism - I: The Letter of Peter Peregrinus..." Terrestrial Magnetism and Atmospheric Electricity 48 (1943): 3-17.

Harre, Rom. "Gilbert." In Early Seventeenth Century Scientists , edited by Rom Harre, 1-24. Oxford, 1965.

Heilbron, John. Electricity in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries. Berkeley, CA, 1979.

Hellman, G., ed. Neudrucke von Schriften und Karten uber Meteorologie und Erdmagnetismus: Rara Magnetica 1269-1599. Vol. 10. 15 vols. Berlin, 1893-1904.

Heninger, S.K. Jr. "Tudor Literature of the Physical Sciences." Huntington Library Quarterly 32 (1969): 101-33. (link to JSTOR)

Henry, John. "'Animism and empiricism : Copernican physics and the origins of William Gilbert's experimental method'." Journal of the History of Ideas 62, no. 1 (2001): 99-119. (link to JSTOR)

Hesse, Mary B. "Gilbert and the Historians." British Journal for the History of Science 11 (1960): 1-10, 130-42.

Hesse, Mary. "Gilbert and the historians." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 11 (1960): (pt I) 1-10. (link to JSTOR)

Hesse, Mary. "Gilbert and the historians." British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 11 (1960): (pt II) 130-42. (link to JSTOR)

Home, R. W. "'Newtonianism and the theory of the magnet." History of Science 15 (1977): 252-66.

Hutton, Sarah. "The Man in the Moone and the New Astronomy: Godwin, Gilbert, Kepler." Etudes Episteme 7 (2005): 3-12.

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Jardine, Nicholas. The Birth of History and Astronomy of Science: Kepler's A defence of Tycho against Ursus. Cambridge, 1984.

Jarrell, Richard A. "The latest date of composition of Gilbert's 'De Mundo'." Isis 63 (1972): 94-5. (link to JSTOR)

Johnson, F. R. Astronomical Thought in Renaissance England: A Study of English Scientific Writings from 1500 to 1645. Baltimore, 1937.

Jones, Robert Foster. Ancients and Moderns. St Louis, 1936.

Jonkers, A.R.T. Earth's Magnetism in the Age of Sail. Baltimore, 2003. (link to Google Books)



Kay, Charles D. William Gilbert's Renaissance Philosophy of the Magnet. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Pittsburgh, 1981. (link to JSTOR)

Kelly, Sister Susanne. The De Mundo of William Gilbert. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 1965. (link to Google Books)

Kelly, Sister Suzanne. "Gilbert's Influence on Bacon, a Revaluation." Physics 5 (1963): 249-68.

Kelly, Sister Suzanne. "The De Mundo Nostro Sublunari of William Gilbert." Proceedings of the Oklahoma Academy of Science , 1959.

King, W. James. "The Natural Philosophy of William Gilbert and his Predecessors." United States National Museum Bulletin 218 (1959): 121-39.

Kopal, Zdenek. "The Earliest Maps of the Moon." The Moon 1 (1969): 59-66.

Krafft, Fritz. "Sphaera activitatis - orbis virtutis." Suddhoffs Archiv 54 (1970): 113-40.


Lynch, A. C. "Silvanus Thompson: teacher, researcher, historian." History of Electrical Engineering Proceedings, 136, Pt, A, No. 6 (1989): 306-12 (link to IEEExplore)


Magrini, Silvio. "Il 'De Magnete' del Gilbert e i Primordi della Magnetologia in Italia in Rapporto all Lotta Intorno ai Massimi Sistemi." Archivio di Storia della Scienza 8 (1927): 17-39.

Matsushita, S. The Physics of Geomagnetic Phenomena. 2 vols. New York, 1967.

McColley, Grant. "The debt of Bishop John Wilkins to the Apologia pro Galileo of Tommaso Campanella." Annals of Science 4 (1939): 150-68.

McFarland, R. E. "Jonson's 'Magnetic Lady' and the reception of Gilbert's 'De Magnete'." Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900 , 1971: 288-93.

Miller, David Marshall. Representations of Space in Seventeenth Century Physics: Ph.D. Dissertation. Pittsburgh: unpublished, 2006.

Mottelay, P. Fleury. Bibliographical History of Electricity and Magnetism. New York, 1922.

Mottelay, P. Fleury. "Biographical Memoir." In De Magnete , by William Gilbert, translated by P. Fleury Mottelay, ix-xxvii. New York, 1893.

Munk, William. The Roll of the Royal College of Physicians of London. Vol. 1. 1518-1700. 1878, London.


Oppenheimer, Jane M. "William Gilbert: Plant Grafting and the Grand Analogy." Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences 8 (1953): 165-76.


Palter, Robert. "Early measurements of magnetic force." Isis 63 (1972): 544-58. (link to JSTOR)

Pelseneer, Jean. "Gilbert, Bacon, Galilee, Kepler, Harvey et Descartes." Isis 17 (1932): 171-208. (link to JSTOR)

Pumfrey, Stephen. "The Selenographia of William Gilbert: His Pre-Telescopic Map of the Moon and His Discovery of Lunar Libration." Journal for the History of Astronomy, 42 (2011): 193-202 (link to Ingenta)

Pumfrey, Stephen. "Harriot's Maps of the Moon: New Interpretations." Notes and Records of the Royal Society, 63 (2009): 163-168 (link to Royal Society Publishing)

Pumfrey, Stephen. "William Gilbert." In Cambridge Scientific Minds , edited by Peter Harman and Simon Mitton, 6-20. Cambridge, 2002. (opens as pdf.)

Pumfrey, Stephen. "From Aristotle's Spheres via Gilbert's Discovery of Libration to Kepler's Ellipses: the Face of the Moon in the History of Astronomy." Journal of the History of Ideas , to be submitted.

Pumfrey, Stephen. "Magnetical Philosophy and Astronomy, 1600-1650." In Planetary Astronomy from the Renaissance to the Rise of Astrophysics, Part A: Tycho Brahe to Newton , edited by R. Taton and C. Wilson, 45-53. Cambridge, 1989.

Pumfrey, Stephen. "'O tempora, O magnes!' A sociological analysis of the discovery of secular magnetic variation in 1634." British Journal for the History of Science 22 (1989): 181-214.


-. William Gilbert's Magnetic Philosophy: the Creation and Dissolution of a Discipline. University of London: Unpublished Ph. D. Dissertation, 1987.

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Rees, Graham. "Francis Bacon on Verticity and the Bowels of the Earth." Ambix 26 (1979): 202-11.

Reeves, Eileen. "As good as gold: the mobile earth and early modern economics." Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 62 (1999): 126-66.

-. "Of Language and the Lodestone." The Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America. 2003-4. http://www.italianacademy.columbia.edu/publications/working_papers/2003_2004/paper_fa03_Reeves.pdf (accessed 09 06, 2010).

Reeves, Eileen. "Old Wives' Tales and the New World System: Gilbert, Galileo and Kepler." Configurations 7 (1999): 301-54.

Rocchietta, S. "The Elizabethan physician, William Gilbert (1540-1603), a pioneer in electricity." Minerva Med 70 (1979): 497-9.

Roller, Duane H. D. "Did Bacon know Gilbert's 'De Magnete'?" Isis 44 (1953): 10-12. (link to JSTOR)

-. The 'De Magnete' of William Gilbert. Amsterdam, 1959. (link to Google Books)


Shapin, Steven. The Scientific Revolution. Chicago, 1996.

Shipley, Brian C. "Gilbert, Translated; Silvanus P. Thompson, the Gilbert Club, and the Tercentenary Edition of De Magnete." Canadian Journal of History 38 (2003): 259-79. (link to The Free Library)

Shirley, John, ed. Thomas Harriot. Renaissance Scientist. Oxford, 1974.

Stern, David P. The Great Magnet, the Earth. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of "De Magnete" by William Gilbert of Colchester. 2002. http://www.phy6.org/earthmag/demagint.htm (accessed 09 06, 2010).

Still, Alfred. Soul of Amber: the background of electrical science. New York, 1944.

-. Soul of Lodestone: the background of magnetic science. New York, 1946.

Suter, Rufus. "A biographical sketch of Dr William Gilbert of Colchester." Osiris 10 (1952): 377-80. (link to JSTOR)

Suter, Rufus. "A disparagement of Copernicus via Gilbert." Isis 50 (1959): 64. (link to JSTOR)

-. Opusculum perpetua memoria dignissimum de natura magnetis et eius effectibus. Cologne, 1562.


Taylor, E. G. R. The Havenfinding Art. Oxford, 1971.

-. The Mathematical Practitioners of Tudor and Stuart England. Cambridge, 1954.

tbc. "William Gilbert: His Place in the Medical World." Nature , 1944: 136-39.

Thompson, Jane Smeal, and Helen G. Thompson. Silvanus Phillips Thompson: His Life and Letters. London, 1920.

Thompson, Silvanus Phillips. Gilbert of Colchester, Father of Electrical Science. Privately printed.

-. Gilbert of Colchester: An Elizabethan Magnetizer. Privately printed, 1891. (opens as pdf.)

-. Gilbert, physician: a note prepared for the three hundredth anniversary of the death of William Gilbert of Colchester. London, 1903.

Thompson, Silvanus Phillips. "Notes on the De Magnete of Gilbert." In De Magnete , by William Gilbert, translated by Silvanus Phillips Thompson. London, 1900.

Thompson, Silvanus Phillips. "Petrus Peregrinus de Maricourt and his Epistola de Magnete." Proceedings of the British Academy , 1906.

-. The Family and Arms of Gilbert of Colchester. Privately printed, 1903.

-. Translation of the Epistola de Magnete of Petrus Peregrinus. Privately printed, 1902.

Thompson, Silvanus Phillips. "William Gilbert and Terrestrial Magnetism [sic]." The Geographical Journal (of the Royal Geographical Society) 21 (1903): 611-18.

-. William Gilbert and Terrestrial Magnetism in the Time of Queen Elizabeth. Privately printed, 1903.

Thorndike, Lynn. A History of Magic and Experimental Science. 8 vols. New York, 1923-58.

Tilley, David, and Stephen Pumfrey. "William Gilbert: forgotten Genius." Physics World , November 2003.

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Wallis, P. J. "The 1628-1633 editions of William Gilbert's 'De Magnete': a tribute to the late Clifford Dobbs." Bibliotheck: A Scottish Journal of Bibliography and Allied Topics 6 (1971): 23-42.

Waters, David W. The Art of Navigation in England. 3 vols. London, 1958.

Westman, Robert S. "The Astronomer's Role in the Sixteenth Century: A Preliminary Study." History of Science 18 (1980): 105-47.

Whitaker, Ewen. Selenography in the Seventeenth Century. Vol. 2A, in Planetary astronomy from the Renaissance to the rise of astrophysics. Part A: Tycho Brahe to Newton , by R Taton and C Wilson, edited by Michael Hoskin, 119-143. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989.

Williamson, R. T. "Dr. William Gilbert. Discoverer of Terrestrial Magnetism and Founder of Electrical Science." British Medical Journal , 1931: 219-20.

Wolfson, Harry A. "The problem of the souls of the spheres from the Byzantine Commentaries on Aristotle through the Arabs and St Thomas to Kepler." Dumbarton Oaks Papers 16 (1962): 65-93.

Wright, J. E. "William Gilbert." British Medical Journal , 1975: 83-5.


Yates, Frances A. Giordano Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition. London, 1964.


Zilsel, Edgar. "The Origins of William Gilbert's Scientific Method." Journal of the History of Ideas 2, no. 1 (1941): 1-31. (link to JSTOR)

-. The Social Origins of Modern Science. Dordrecht, 2003.

Zilsel, Edgar. "The Sociological Roots of Science." The American Journal of Sociology 47 (1942): 544-62.


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