Project

Thomas Tryon and His World

Program

Research Fellowships for Recent Recipients of the PhD Degree , ACLS Fellowship Program

Department

History

Abstract

Thomas Tryon (1634-1703), popular writer on health, nature, and the environment, was the first truly organic intellectual of the Anglo-American world. His life and work offer insights into a formative century of global commerce and print culture. Tryon’s ideas about diets and vegetarianism inspired Ben Franklin and medical authorities of the enlightenment, while his personal philosophy, embodied in advice books on subjects such as land use and housewifery, introduced ideas from Eastern philosophy into Anglo-American culture. Tryon’s complex world brings to light popular views of nature befire industrialism and challenges current interpretations of the ways in which Europeans came to terms with the burgeoning affluence of modernity.