Judging by recent scholarship, the early modern period hosted a remarkable number of revolutions, even excluding the political ones. Adding to the scientific, print, reading and other revolutions, Adam Max Cohen investigates the technological revolution in Renaissance England. Cohen usefully distinguishes between the history of science, a field that has received a great deal of attention recently, and the history of technology, which focuses not on natural philosophy but on the ‘array of practices and artifacts associated with newly invented or recently updated instruments, tools, and machines’ (p. 4). In his opening chapter, Cohen lists 12 causes of London's transformation ‘between 1550 and 1616 … from a technological backwater rife with anti-mathematical prejudice into one of Europe's leading producers of new technologies’ (p. 23). While this causal analysis is (inevitably in a book not wholly dedicated to...

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