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Baker, Henry

Entry updated 11 August 2018. Tagged: Author.

(1698-1774) Naturalist and early microscopist, one of the founders of the Society of Arts in 1754; the father-in-law of Daniel Defoe. He was the author of an epic poem, The Universe (1727), the subtitle of which proclaims its intended aim "to restrain the pride of Man". This is something Baker attempts by striving repeatedly for what we might call a Sense of Wonder ("Amazing Thought! What Mortal can conceive!") occasioned by the enormity of his subject (see Cosmology). The poem finds life everywhere in the cosmos both on the largest scale and on the smallest (of atoms, he asserts, "they too are pain'd with Love – address the Fair, / And with their Rivals wage destructive war."). [AR]

Henry Baker

born London: 8 May 1698

died London: 25 November 1774



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