It is elementary, Dr Watson

Recently, there have been a number of news items & publications all dealing in one way or the other with being a 21st century historian. In this blogpost I will discuss three of these, and try to reflect upon my own research and the bigger picture.

Summer thoughts…

Oxford, summer, unusually un-British weather. Currently setting up and drafting a chapter on Newton’s reading practices, with specific focus on his chronological readings. Turns out I find it extremely difficult to turn all the finds I collected over the past three years into a coherent narrative. Whatever happened to creativity?

Writing with Isaac in the 21st century

Two years ago, I attended a brilliant Digital Humanities conference in Sheffield, with several very impressive papers. I was allowed to present some of my research, received generous feedback, and subsequently responded to the call for papers for the conference proceedings. It took a while, but I just received word that the proceedings are out!…

Isaac Newton moves to Oxford

It has been nearly two months since my last blogpost, which is a) rather a long time, and b) quite unusual. Teaching duties, Newton Project business, my own research: yours truly has been busy. But I have some exciting news. Read on…

ISAAC NEWTON LIBRARY ONLINE

And there is it, in all its glory: the full library of Isaac Newton. Please find it here. Natural philosopher, mathematician, scholar, theologian, historian, alchemist: reflecting all of Newton’s interests and much more. With the usual suspects (Boyle, Hooke, Huygens, some chap called Euclid) and many, many other interesting, odd, even quirky volumes. It’s been…

Soon: Newton’s library online

Devoted Newton groupies must have wondered: all is quiet on the Newton front? Indeed, I haven’t had much time in the past weeks to write a new post. But it was time well-spent: in a few days the Newton Project web site will see the launch of the full catalogue of books that Isaac Newton…

Newton, the Man, or: of valuable lists and juicy quotes

  Earlier this week I received a copy of an intriguing little volume, titled “Newton: The Man”. It was published in 1931 by a retired Engineer Corps Lieutenant-Colonel named Richard de Villamil, and has a preface by none other than Albert Einstein. As De Villamil states in his introduction, This small book has no pretensions…

Newton in Atlantis

  Isaac Newton’s Chronology of Ancient Kingdom’s Amended contains an interesting passage about a mythological kingdom: Atlantis. On page 229 we read that Solon having travelled into Egypt, and conversed with the Priests of Sais about their antiquities, wrote a Poem of what he had learnt, but did not finish it; and this Poem fell into the hands of…

To the unknown scribe – Isaac Newton’s assistants

Over the past year and a half I have been blogging about many things Newtonian. Some of these are of a more general nature, involving Newton’s life and works, while others are more directly related to my main research project. That main project involves Newton as a reader of books, a taker of notes, and…

Hunting Season – Hiding on the Shelves

While Western Europe sees a record-braking heat-wave, all is well in San Marino! I am currently enjoying a two-month Dibner Research Fellowship at the Huntington Library. As devoted readers of this blog will remember, it’s a place I’ve been before (see here, here & here), and hope to return to sometime in the future. Staff,…

Folding pages (Scenes from the Library of Isaac Newton, Part 2)

  Last week y’all got the crash course on how to recognise a Newton book, and boy did it pay off! There’s even rumours that more is to come soon. In the mean time yours truly spent an exciting week leafing through all sorts of rare books in the Huntington Library‘s Ahmanson Reading Room. Only…

The world has heeded my plea! Another Newton book found.

Pablo Alvarez from the University of Michigan has just identified another Newton book! It’s Newton’s copy of Arthur Dee’s Fasciculus chemicus, abstrusæ Hermeticæ scientiæ, ingressum, progressum, coronidem, verbis apertissimis explicans…, which, as the more perceptive of you will see, is an alchemical treatise (of which Newton owned quite a lot). It was published in Paris in…