The relatively brief text (thirty pages)
of A New Discovery of an Excellent Method of Bee Houses &
Colonies contains detailed instructions for the construction
of the artificial beehive illustrated here. The
diagram assumes a reader's interest in the practical application
of the information. The very existence of such a book and the fact
that it was published at the request of the Royal Society attests
to the changing intellectual and socio-economic environment that
began affording greater prestige to hands-on knowledge. Both shops
listed on the title page were owned by Dorman Newman, one of the
most prominent booksellers of his time. The fact that three editions
were published within two years perhaps attests to the success of
this and other "how-to" books in creating a market for
practical research and innovation within the larger pursuit of knowledge,
which had been dominated by abstract theoretical concerns since
University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Fussell, G.E. The Old English Farming
Books from Fitzherbert to Tull, 1523-1730. London: Crosby
Lockwood & Sons, 1947.
McRrae, Andrew. God Speed the Plough:
The Representation of Agrarian England, 1500-1660. Cambridge;
New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
Thirsk, Joan. The Rural Economy
of England. London: Hambledon Press, 1984.