Thursday, 19 February 2015

The Library of Isaac Newton - John Harrison ***

Clearly not popular science, in fact, very much one for specialists - but for historians of science this is an extremely valuable look at the 2000+ books that Isaac Newton collected. 

Infuriatingly, the collection remained in one piece until the 1920s, but then a good chunk of it was sold off to a collector. There will be some surprises. For instance, Newton doesn't seem to have a copy of Galileo's definitive physics book 'Two New Sciences'. And his library contained far more books on theology than physics. He also had a fair amount of fiction... and even some books on medals.

Along with an erudite exploration of the library's history and its various oddities, the book contains a complete catalogue of the volumes, and whether they had any oddities like markings and page turnings by Newton.

Paperback:  
Review by Brian Clegg

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