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The Politics of London Air John Evelyn's Fumifugium and the Restoration

Mark Jenner
The Historical Journal
Vol. 38, No. 3 (Sep., 1995), pp. 535-551
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2640001
Page Count: 17
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The Politics of London Air John Evelyn's Fumifugium and the Restoration
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Abstract

Historians have commonly described John Evelyn's pamphlet about London smoke pollution, Fumifugium, as a precocious example of environmental concern. This paper argues that such an interpretation is too simple. Evelyn's proposals are shown to be closely related to political allegory and the panegyrics written to welcome the newly restored Charles II. However, the paper also shows that Fumifugium was not simply a literary conceit; rather it exemplified the mid-seventeenth-century English interest in the properties of air that is visible in both the Hartlib circle and the early Royal Society.

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