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The Planet That Wasn’t There

Thomas Jones: Phantom Planets, 19 January 2017

The Hunt for Vulcan: How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet and Deciphered the Universe 
by Thomas Levenson.
Head of Zeus, 229 pp., £7.99, August 2016, 978 1 78497 398 8
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... of Mercury. How that belief came about, and how Einstein came to demolish it, is the subject of Thomas Levenson’s eye-opening book.Pluto lost its planetary status ten years ago after a group of astronomers, Brown among them, discovered another object of roughly the same size orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune.2 If Pluto was a planet, then so was Eris ...

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
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... William’s war form the background to the curious story of a counterfeiter and his nemesis that Thomas Levenson tells in his racy new book. Finance was not, in those days, a very abstruse mystery, and economics was not yet an abstract science: the crisis of the 1690s turned not on the metaphysical niceties of credit but on the quantity and quality of ...

On the Sixth Day

Charles Nicholl: Petrarch on the Move, 7 February 2019

Petrarch: Everywhere a Wanderer 
by Christopher Celenza.
Reaktion, 224 pp., £15.95, October 2017, 978 1 78023 838 8
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... against Fortune, as well Prosperous, as Adverse’ in the Elizabethan translation by Thomas Twyne); ‘invectives’ such as the anti-Aristotelian De sui ipsius et multorum ignorantia (‘On His Own and Many Others’ Ignorance’) and the Contra medicum (‘Against the Doctor’, which identifies his opponent only as ‘a certain man of great ...

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