'The Darling of the Temple-Coffee-House Club’: Science, Sociability and Satire in Early Eighteenth-Century London
43 - 65
Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
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This article explores the relationship between metropolitan sociability and the production of natural knowledge in early eighteenth-century London. It considers three discursive sites where the intellectual and sociable worlds converged: manuscript correspondence, the coffee-house club and published research. Focusing on the Temple Coffee-House Club's habits of scholarship and sociability, the argument examines the club's ongoing historical reception and its satirical depiction in William King's The Transactioneer. In the process this article re-evaluates recent critical, methodological and historiographical debates concerning the changing institutional agenda of the Royal Society, natural philosophy and epistemological credit, and the archaeology of coffee-house sociability.