Saltpeter: The Mother of Gunpowder

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9780199695751: Saltpeter: The Mother of Gunpowder

This is the story of saltpeter, the vital but mysterious substance craved by governments from the Tudors to the Victorians as an 'inestimable treasure.'

National security depended on control of this organic material - that had both mystical and mineral properties. Derived from soil enriched with dung and urine, it provided the heart or 'mother' of gunpowder, without which no musket or cannon could be fired. Its acquisition involved alchemical knowledge, exotic technology, intrusions into people's lives, and eventual dominance of the world's oceans.

The quest for saltpeter caused widespread 'vexation' in Tudor and Stuart England, as crown agents dug in homes and barns and even churches. Governments hungry for it purchased supplies from overseas merchants, transferred skills from foreign experts, and extended patronage to ingenious schemers, while the hated 'saltpetermen' intruded on private ground.

Eventually, huge saltpeter imports from India relieved this social pressure, and by the eighteenth century positioned Britain as a global imperial power; the governments of revolutionary America and ancien régime France, on the other hand, were forced to find alternative sources of this treasured substance. In the end, it was only with the development of chemical explosives in the late Victorian period that dependency on saltpeter finally declined.

Saltpeter, the Mother of Gunpowder tells this fascinating story for the first time. Lively and entertaining in its own right, it is also a tale with far-reaching implications. As David Cressy's engaging narrative makes clear, the story of saltpeter is vital not only in explaining the inter-connected military, scientific, and political 'revolutions' of the seventeenth century; it also played a key role in the formation of the centralized British nation state - and that state's subsequent dominance of the waves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

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Recensione:

a fascinating and highly readable study of the "weird and wonderful tale of saltpeter" Highly recommended. ( The Historical Association)

[A] thought-provoking and engaging book clear prose and engaging style. ( H-Net Online)

a very well structured and organised book Cressy has made a significant contribution to the existing literature a book which is essential reading for historians of the early modern period. ( Reviews in History)

A brief but fascinating history of saltpetre ... [Cressy] has skilfully turned 200 pages on the collection of human and animal waste into a fascinating reflection on how civic liberties were often quashed by concerns for national security. ( Victor Davis Hanson, Times Literary Supplement)

[an] excellent and fascinating account. ( John Harding, Daily Mail)

David Cressy tells the tale of this "crucial link in the chain of chemistry and power" with panache, from the unravelling of saltpetre's chemistry to the warmongering that fostered dependence on it. ( Nature)

Historian Cressy ... has written what will stand as the finest history of saltpeter for many years to come ... Essential. ( K.R. DeVries, CHOICE)

L'autore:

Born in England and educated at Cambridge, David Cressy has made his career in the United States, where he is George III Professor of British History and Humanities Distinguished Professor at Ohio State University. A social and cultural historian of early modern England, concerned with the intersections of elite and popular culture, central and local government, and official and unofficial religion, he has also written on literacy, kinship, calendar customs, book-burning, and the man in the moon. A Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a Guggenheim Fellow, and recipient of awards from the National Endowment for the Humanities, David Cressy is a frequent visitor to England, where he has held visiting fellowships at Churchill College, Cambridge, and at Magdalen, St. Catherine's and All Souls Colleges, Oxford.

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David Cressy
Editore: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 019969575X ISBN 13: 9780199695751
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 216 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the story of saltpeter, the vital but mysterious substance craved by governments from the Tudors to the Victorians as an inestimable treasure. National security depended on control of this organic material - that had both mystical and mineral properties. Derived from soil enriched with dung and urine, it provided the heart or mother of gunpowder, without which no musket or cannon could be fired. Its acquisition involved alchemical knowledge, exotic technology, intrusions into people s lives, and eventual dominance of the world s oceans. The quest for saltpeter caused widespread vexation in Tudor and Stuart England, as crown agents dug in homes and barns and even churches. Governments hungry for it purchased supplies from overseas merchants, transferred skills from foreign experts, and extended patronage to ingenious schemers, while the hated saltpetermen intruded on private ground. Eventually, huge saltpeter imports from India relieved this social pressure, and by the eighteenth century positioned Britain as a global imperial power; the governments of revolutionary America and ancien regime France, on the other hand, were forced to find alternative sources of this treasured substance. In the end, it was only with the development of chemical explosives in the late Victorian period that dependency on saltpeter finally declined. Saltpeter, the Mother of Gunpowder tells this fascinating story for the first time. Lively and entertaining in its own right, it is also a tale with far-reaching implications. As David Cressy s engaging narrative makes clear, the story of saltpeter is vital not only in explaining the inter-connected military, scientific, and political revolutions of the seventeenth century; it also played a key role in the formation of the centralized British nation state - and that state s subsequent dominance of the waves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199695751

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David Cressy
Editore: Oxford University Press, United Kingdom (2013)
ISBN 10: 019969575X ISBN 13: 9780199695751
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2013. Hardback. Condizione libro: New. 216 x 138 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. This is the story of saltpeter, the vital but mysterious substance craved by governments from the Tudors to the Victorians as an inestimable treasure. National security depended on control of this organic material - that had both mystical and mineral properties. Derived from soil enriched with dung and urine, it provided the heart or mother of gunpowder, without which no musket or cannon could be fired. Its acquisition involved alchemical knowledge, exotic technology, intrusions into people s lives, and eventual dominance of the world s oceans. The quest for saltpeter caused widespread vexation in Tudor and Stuart England, as crown agents dug in homes and barns and even churches. Governments hungry for it purchased supplies from overseas merchants, transferred skills from foreign experts, and extended patronage to ingenious schemers, while the hated saltpetermen intruded on private ground. Eventually, huge saltpeter imports from India relieved this social pressure, and by the eighteenth century positioned Britain as a global imperial power; the governments of revolutionary America and ancien regime France, on the other hand, were forced to find alternative sources of this treasured substance. In the end, it was only with the development of chemical explosives in the late Victorian period that dependency on saltpeter finally declined. Saltpeter, the Mother of Gunpowder tells this fascinating story for the first time. Lively and entertaining in its own right, it is also a tale with far-reaching implications. As David Cressy s engaging narrative makes clear, the story of saltpeter is vital not only in explaining the inter-connected military, scientific, and political revolutions of the seventeenth century; it also played a key role in the formation of the centralized British nation state - and that state s subsequent dominance of the waves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Codice libro della libreria AOP9780199695751

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Descrizione libro Condizione libro: New. Depending on your location, this item may ship from the US or UK. Codice libro della libreria 97801996957510000000

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press. Hardback. Condizione libro: new. BRAND NEW, Saltpeter: The Mother of Gunpowder, David Cressy, This is the story of saltpeter, the vital but mysterious substance craved by governments from the Tudors to the Victorians as an 'inestimable treasure.' National security depended on control of this organic material - that had both mystical and mineral properties. Derived from soil enriched with dung and urine, it provided the heart or 'mother' of gunpowder, without which no musket or cannon could be fired. Its acquisition involved alchemical knowledge, exotic technology, intrusions into people's lives, and eventual dominance of the world's oceans. The quest for saltpeter caused widespread 'vexation' in Tudor and Stuart England, as crown agents dug in homes and barns and even churches. Governments hungry for it purchased supplies from overseas merchants, transferred skills from foreign experts, and extended patronage to ingenious schemers, while the hated 'saltpetermen' intruded on private ground. Eventually, huge saltpeter imports from India relieved this social pressure, and by the eighteenth century positioned Britain as a global imperial power; the governments of revolutionary America and ancien regime France, on the other hand, were forced to find alternative sources of this treasured substance. In the end, it was only with the development of chemical explosives in the late Victorian period that dependency on saltpeter finally declined. Saltpeter, the Mother of Gunpowder tells this fascinating story for the first time. Lively and entertaining in its own right, it is also a tale with far-reaching implications. As David Cressy's engaging narrative makes clear, the story of saltpeter is vital not only in explaining the inter-connected military, scientific, and political 'revolutions' of the seventeenth century; it also played a key role in the formation of the centralized British nation state - and that state's subsequent dominance of the waves in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Codice libro della libreria B9780199695751

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 2012. Condizione libro: New. 2012. 1st Edition. Hardcover. The story of the science, the technology, the politics and the military applications of saltpeter - the vital but mysterious substance that governments from the Tudors to the Victorians regarded as an 'inestimable treasure'. Num Pages: 256 pages, 20 black and white halftones. BIC Classification: HBW; JWM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 224 x 144 x 19. Weight in Grams: 420. . . . . . . Codice libro della libreria V9780199695751

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press. Condizione libro: New. 2012. 1st Edition. Hardcover. The story of the science, the technology, the politics and the military applications of saltpeter - the vital but mysterious substance that governments from the Tudors to the Victorians regarded as an 'inestimable treasure'. Num Pages: 256 pages, 20 black and white halftones. BIC Classification: HBW; JWM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 224 x 144 x 19. Weight in Grams: 420. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Codice libro della libreria V9780199695751

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Descrizione libro Hardback. Condizione libro: New. Not Signed; This is the story of saltpeter, the vital but mysterious substance craved by governments from the Tudors to the Victorians as an 'inestimable treasure.' National security depended on control of this organic material - that had both mystical and mineral properties. Derived from soil enriched with dun. book. Codice libro della libreria ria9780199695751_rkm

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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press 2013-01-10, Oxford, 2013. hardback. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria 9780199695751

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Descrizione libro 2013. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. 140mm x 23mm x 218mm. Hardcover. This is the story of saltpeter, the vital but mysterious substance craved by governments from the Tudors to the Victorians as an 'inestimable treasure.'National security depended.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 237 pages. 0.408. Codice libro della libreria 9780199695751

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