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Among the Sandemanians

John Hedley Brooke

25 July 1991
Michael Faraday: Sandemanian and Scientist 
by Geoffrey Cantor.
Macmillan, 359 pp., £40, May 1991, 0 333 55077 3
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... and ‘believed firmly that in studying science he was investigating the laws written into the Universe by God.’ This is not the stuff of which arresting exhibitions are usually made. But if GeoffreyCantor is right in his enthralling new book, the Museum deserves credit for placing the more familiar rings and coils of Faraday’s electrical research in precisely this religious context. It is ...

The Immortal Coil

Richard Barnett: Faraday’s Letters

21 March 2013
The Correspondence of Michael Faraday Vol. VI, 1860-67 
by Frank James.
IET, 919 pp., £85, December 2011, 978 0 86341 957 7
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... how to make facts travel along them as smoothly as locomotives on Brunel’s Great Western Railway. Studies of Faraday’s experimental sophistication (by David Gooding) and his Sandemanian faith (by GeoffreyCantor) have deepened, rather than challenged, our sense of his eminence. James’s work, meanwhile – in his own publications and his DNB entry on Faraday – has highlighted Faraday’s importance ...

Our Shapeshifting Companion

David Cantor: Cancer

7 March 2013
The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer 
by Siddhartha Mukherjee.
Fourth Estate, 571 pp., £9.99, September 2011, 978 0 00 725092 9
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... between a painful and deadly disease and a painful and mutilating operation. Such difficulties were not helped by other doctors’ criticism of radical interventions. In the 1920s the surgeon Geoffrey Keynes (brother of Maynard) had argued that the results of radical surgery were often no better than those of more conservative procedures, and that Halsted’s centrifugal model should be ...

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