The British Journal for the History of Science

Research Article

Hooke on Earthquakes: Lectures, Strategy and Audience

Rhoda Rappaporta1

a1 Department of History, Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, 12601, U.S.A.

Much has been written about Robert Hooke's so-called ‘Discourse of Earthquakes’, the series of lectures he delivered before the Royal Society of London over the years 1667–1700. The chief points of the lectures are thus well known: fossils (the word is used here in its modern meaning) are the remains of once-living organisms, and their burial in rather odd places within the earth's crust can be explained by the dislocations of land and sea resulting from earthquakes.