Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 43 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

Newton and God’s Truth

Christopher Hill, 4 September 1980

A Portrait of Isaac Newton 
by Frank Manuel.
Muller, 478 pp., £11.75, April 1980, 0 584 95357 7
Show More
Philosopher at War: The Quarrel between Newton and Leibniz 
by Rupert Hall.
Cambridge, 338 pp., £15, July 1980, 0 521 22732 1
Show More
Show More
... There are at least three possible portraits of Isaac Newton. Traditional internalist historians of science depict him as an aloof scholar, remote from the world, solving in his Cambridge ivory tower problems which derived logically from the state of contemporary mathematical knowledge. A second approach, which originated with the Soviet scientist Hessen, relates the problems which Newton studied, together with other scientists of his day, to the economic needs of rising capitalist society, or draws attention to the continued influence of his Puritan background on his mode of thought ...

Creative Affinities

Martin Swales, 15 July 1982

The Newton Letter 
by John Banville.
Secker, 82 pp., £5.95, May 1982, 0 436 03265 1
Show More
Show More
... on a run-down country estate in Ireland where he hopes to put the finishing touches to a book on Isaac Newton. Gradually, his research takes a back seat as he becomes fascinated with the family on whose property he is living. Edward Lawless is a wreck of a man, clumsy, inarticulate, frequently drunk; his wife Charlotte is noble, suffering, strangely ...

Newton reinvents himself

Jonathan Rée, 20 January 2011

Newton and the Counterfeiter: The Unknown Detective Career of the World’s Greatest Scientist 
by Thomas Levenson.
Faber, 318 pp., £9.99, August 2010, 978 0 571 22993 2
Show More
Show More
... and also for having the nerve to lay accusations of malpractice against ‘that Worthy Gentleman Isaac Newton Esq.’ No one could read about the life and death of William Chaloner without suspecting that there may be more to it than meets the eye. Was he as guilty as he was made out to be, or was he framed as a result of an unwise choice of ...

Somewhat Divine

Simon Schaffer: Isaac Newton, 16 November 2000

Isaac NewtonThe ‘Principia’ Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy 
translated by I. Bernard Cohen.
California, 974 pp., £22, September 1999, 0 520 08817 4
Show More
Show More
... first review of the Principia began, in summer 1687: from the start, you were forced to admire Newton’s modesty, and his genius. The reviewer, the young astronomer Edmond Halley, knew what he was talking about. Three years earlier, during a visit to Cambridge, he had posed the puzzle which started Newton on the path to ...

I tooke a bodkine

Jonathan Rée: Esoteric Newton, 10 October 2013

Newton and the Origin of Civilisation 
by Jed Buchwald and Mordechai Feingold.
Princeton, 528 pp., £34.95, October 2012, 978 0 691 15478 7
Show More
Show More
... The life of Isaac Newton falls into two halves, and the main problem for Newton studies is how to fit them together. In the first half he was a sulky Cambridge mathematician who, at the age of 44, astonished the world with a work of natural science that was soon recognised as one of the greatest books ever written ...

Sailing Scientist

Steven Shapin: Edmund Halley, 2 July 1998

Edmond Halley: Charting the Heavens and the Seas 
by Alan Cook.
Oxford, 540 pp., £29.50, December 1997, 0 19 850031 9
Show More
Show More
... Joined for all time on the title-page of the Book that Made the Modern World are Isaac Newton (who wrote the Principia Mathematica) and Samuel Pepys (who, as President of the Royal Society, licensed it to be printed). It is one of the oddest couples in the history of thought: the man who, as a late 17th-century Cambridge student was heard to say, had ‘writt a book that neither he nor any body else understands’ and one of the multitude who understood scarcely a word of it; the wholly other and the all-too-human; the virgin ascetic who accused John Locke of trying to ‘embroil’ him with women, and the supreme London boulevardier whose consuming passions included Château Haut-Brion, the theatre and serial embroilments with women ...

Nobel Savage

Steven Shapin: Kary Mullis, 1 July 1999

Dancing Naked in the Mind Field 
by Kary Mullis.
Bloomsbury, 209 pp., £12.99, March 1999, 0 7475 4376 3
Show More
Show More
... In one of the most celebrated expressions of scientific humility, Isaac Newton said that he felt himself to have been ‘only like a boy playing on the seashore . . . whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me’. Kary Mullis approaches the seashore from a different direction. On the day he won the 1993 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, Mullis went surfing ...

Joining them

Conrad Russell, 24 January 1985

Goodwin Wharton 
by J. Kent Clark.
Oxford, 408 pp., £15, November 1984, 0 19 212234 7
Show More
Witchcraft and Religion 
by Christina Larner.
Blackwell, 184 pp., October 1984, 0 631 13447 6
Show More
Lordship to Patronage: Scotland 1603-1745 
by Rosalind Mitchison.
Arnold, 198 pp., £5.95, November 1983, 0 7131 6313 5
Show More
Show More
... his doings with those of anyone else. He is a figure of the same chronological vintage as Sir Isaac Newton, dabbling in alchemy and gravity by turns, and he exhibits a perhaps comparable mixture (though in very different proportions) of the open-minded and the credulous. Coming as he does right on the edge of the Enlightenment, he does not provide ...

Singing the Blues

Noël Annan, 22 April 1993

A History of Cambridge University. Vol. IV: 1870-1990 
by Christopher Brooke.
Cambridge, 652 pp., £50, December 1992, 9780521343503
Show More
Show More
... the leadership Trinity gave to science by using her great wealth to found the Science Park and the Isaac Newton Institute, and make Cambridge a scientific city as well as a university. Brooke replies that he is writing the history of the university not the colleges. Winstanley wrote his history of later Victorian Cambridge by minutely analysing ...

After the Deluge

Peter Campbell: How Rainbows Work, 25 April 2002

The Rainbow Bridge: Rainbows in Art, Myth and Science 
by Raymond Lee and Alistair Fraser.
Pennsylvania State, 394 pp., £54.95, June 2001, 0 271 01977 8
Show More
Show More
... Lee and Alistair Fraser put it, to question the rainbow wisdom of the Royal Society’s President, Isaac Newton: ‘I begin now to imagine, that the Rainbow seldom appears very lively without something of this Nature, and that the suppos’d exact Agreement between the Colours of the Rainbow and those of the Prism, is the reason that it has been so little ...

Cosmic Inflation

David Kaiser: The Future of the Universe, 6 February 2014

Time Reborn: From the Crisis in Physics to the Future of the Universe 
by Lee Smolin.
Allen Lane, 319 pp., £20, April 2013, 978 1 84614 299 4
Show More
Show More
... early 1880s to recognise that all was not well with their discipline. Two hundred years earlier, Isaac Newton had bequeathed to them a remarkable system of laws which made it possible for them to describe – and predict – the motion of everything from an apple falling from a tree near Woolsthorpe to the orbit of the Moon around the Earth. When Mach ...

Immoralist

José Harris, 1 December 1983

John Maynard Keynes: Hopes Betrayed 1883-1920 
by Robert Skidelsky.
Macmillan, 447 pp., £14.95, November 1983, 0 333 11599 6
Show More
Show More
... remains – so far – curiously distant and opaque. As Keynes himself wrote in his essay on Isaac Newton, ‘geniuses are very peculiar,’ and it may be the case that no academic account can fully recapture Keynes’s extraordinary mixture of grossness and sensitivity, intuition and logical power. A playwright might do it, as has been done for ...

Moderns and Masons

Peter Burke, 2 April 1981

The First Moderns: The Architects of the Eighteenth Century 
by Joseph Rykwert.
M.I.T., 585 pp., £27.50, September 1980, 0 262 18090 1
Show More
Show More
... despite his admiration for Perrault’s writings, was also interested in the occult, and that Isaac Newton considered the Temple of Solomon ‘the original divine exemplar for all building’. Newton saw the drawings of the Temple made by the antiquarian William Stukeley. Where Villalpando’s Temple looks like the ...

No Clapping

Rosemary Hill: The Bloomsbury Memoir Club, 17 July 2014

The Bloomsbury Group Memoir Club 
by S.P. Rosenbaum, edited by James Haule.
Palgrave, 203 pp., £20, January 2014, 978 1 137 36035 9
Show More
Show More
... to fracture, to lives that spanned historic divides and the psychological consequences. Of Isaac Newton, some of whose papers he owned, Keynes wrote that he was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians, the last of the Babylonians and Sumerians, the last great mind which looked out on the visible and intellectual world ...

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
Show More
Show More
... the book of his works certain parallels can be drawn. That earlier master of nature’s forces, Isaac Newton, had specified rules for the correct reading of each. It is striking how similar they were for the two books, Newton himself having drawn attention to the quest for simplicity as a common desideratum. As with ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences