Image of the month

Hooke Flea

This is one of the classic images from the history of microscopy. It is Robert Hooke's drawing of a flea, taken from his book Micrographia, published in January 1665. The image is used to illustrate an article by EMLab manager Peter Harris, entitled "Microscopy and literature", which appeared in the September 2019 edition of Endeavour. In this article Peter discusses literary works which have been influenced by microscopy, or in which microscopy has played a significant role. He shows, for example that the publication of Micrographia influenced Jonathan Swift's book Gulliver's Travels. Thus, in the chapter "A Voyage to Brobdingnag," Gulliver becomes a becomes a kind of "human microscope." Other examples of microscopy in literature are taken from works by George Eliot, H. G. Wells and D. H. Lawrence. Peter's article can be downloaded here

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