Brief Lives 3 - Newton, Paperback
4 out of 5 (2 ratings)


Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the English genius, made his greatest contributions to original thought before the age of twenty-five, while at home in Lincolnshire escaping the great plague of 1665, a period of which he wrote: 'I was in the prime of age for invention.' Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, an MP, Master of the Mind and President of the Royal Society, Newton, the author of Principia, one of the most important books in the history of science, was fascinated by calculus, the planets and the 'laws of motion', and, in keeping with his age, blurred the borders between natural philosophy and speculation: he was as passionate about astrology as astronomy and dabbled in alchemy, while his religious faith was never undermined by his scientific reasoning.

Peter Ackroyd brings this somewhat puritanical man to life and demonstrates the unique brilliance of his perceptions, which changed our world forever.




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Review by

This short biography is an exceptional introduction to the life and work of Sir Isaac Newton. With a select bibliography Ackroyd provides a useful guide to those interested in reading Newton and meditating on his genius.

Review by

I read this because I knew very little about Isaac Newton other than his laws of motion, which like you I learned in high school science classes. In under 200 pages, I learned the truth about the apple story--Newton told four different versions--and many other fascinating things about Newton.

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