At a glance:
- Author: Robert K. Merton, Elinor Barber
- First Published: 2002
- Type of Work: History of science, language, and sociology
- Genres: Nonfiction, History, Sociology, Science and technology
- Subjects: Language or languages, Literature, Science or scientists, Writing, English language, Semantics, Encyclopedias or dictionaries
In The Travels and Adventures of Serendipity, Robert Merton and Elinor Barber draw a map of their intellectual journey that entices readers to follow. They unfold the story of the word “serendipity,” coined by Horace Walpole, English aristocrat and antiquarian, and first used by him in a letter (January 28, 1754) to British diplomat Sir Horace Mann. Walpole wrote that he had come upon a crucial discovery in an old book that was of the kind he called “Serendipity.” He explained to Mann that the word derived from “a silly fairy tale” he had read in which “the three...
(The entire page is 1874 words.)
Want to read the whole thing?
Subscribe now to read the rest of this article. Plus, get access to:
- 30,000+ literature study guides
- Critical essays on more than 30,000 works of literature from Salem on Literature (exclusive to eNotes)
- An unparalleled literary criticism section. 40,000 full-length or excerpted essays.
- Content from leading academic publishers, all easily citable with our "Cite this page" button.
- 100% satisfaction guarantee READ MORE