Abstract

Abstract:

In this essay, I examine Rousseau's surviving herbaria as a unique archive of his real botanical practices. The introduction briefly sets up Rousseau's botanizing in the context of his late life writing and philosophical thought, especially in the Rêveries. I contrast two of the herbaria, one addressed to a man and one to a woman, so as to draw out how these herbaria are ordered and the kinds of knowledge collection they involve, including their implications for Rousseau's views on gender and education. I argue that the herbaria's organization is connected to the principles of the natural history cabinet, stressing the "curious" and "agréable" qualities of the plants and drawing on the concept of the microcosm and its closely related rhetorical twin, synecdoche; these ideas were key to the Wunderkammer, which itself bridged aesthetic ideals and erudition.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 401-425
Launched on MUSE
2021-02-05
Open Access
No
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