Anthony Wood

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The reputation of Anthony Wood rests primarily upon his two-volume Historia, et antiquitates Universitatis Oxoniensis (Oxford, 1674), which only appeared in English at the end of the eighteenth century, and on Athenae Oxonienses (London, 1691–2). See: Clark, 1891–1900. Wood had a large private library and owned a copy of the clandestinely printed Miracles, no Violations of the Laws of Nature, London, 1683 (a pamphlet by deist Charles Blount (1654–93) based on the corresponding sixth chapter of TTP). He also owned: T. Browne, Miracles Work’s Above and Contrary to Nature: or, an Answer to a Late Translation out of Spinoza’s Tractatus, Mr. Hobbs’s Leviathan, … Entituled Miracles no Violation, London, 1683. The latter work was a reaction to Miracles (cf. Kiessling, 2002, nos 1159 and 6003): pp. 66–8. See ODNB. For the last two treatises: Redwood, 1974.

On the 14th of December 1761, the archivist and lexicographer, Thomas Blount dispatched a short message to Anthony Wood. In the parcel, Blount encloses a copy of Tractatus theologico-politicus (TTP) together with a pamphlet entitled Tuba stentoro-phonica, a work on the invention of the megaphone by Samuel Morland. Blount obviously has still no notion as to the fact that Spinoza's treatise was not printed in the city of Hamburg, but in Amsterdam. In the postscript to his letter to Wood, he makes a short, bitter comment on the treatise:

Here is a pestilent book com from Hamburg called “Tractatus Theologo-Politicus”, also extant Sir Samuel Morelands “Tuba Stentoro-phonica”’.

Source:The Correspondence of Thomas Blount, 1978, p. 123.


Thomas Blount