The System of the World: Volume Three of The Baroque Cycle

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HarperCollins, Sep 21, 2004 - Fiction - 892 pages
64 Reviews

'Tis done.

The world is a most confused and unsteady place -- especially London, center of finance, innovation, and conspiracy -- in the year 1714, when Daniel Waterhouse makes his less-than-triumphant return to England's shores. Aging Puritan and Natural Philosopher, confidant of the high and mighty and contemporary of the most brilliant minds of the age, he has braved the merciless sea and an assault by the infamous pirate Blackbeard to help mend the rift between two adversarial geniuses at a princess's behest. But while much has changed outwardly, the duplicity and danger that once drove Daniel to the American Colonies is still coin of the British realm.

No sooner has Daniel set foot on his homeland when he is embroiled in a dark conflict that has been raging in the shadows for decades. It is a secret war between the brilliant, enigmatic Master of the Mint and closet alchemist Isaac Newton and his archnemesis, the insidious counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a. Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds. Hostilities are suddenly moving to a new and more volatile level, as Half-Cocked Jack plots a daring assault on the Tower itself, aiming for nothing less than the total corruption of Britain's newborn monetary system.

Unbeknownst to all, it is love that set the Coiner on his traitorous course; the desperate need to protect the woman of his heart -- the remarkable Eliza, Duchess of Arcachon-Qwghlm -- from those who would destroy her should he fail. Meanwhile, Daniel Waterhouse and his Clubb of unlikely cronies comb city and country for clues to the identity of the blackguard who is attempting to blow up Natural Philosophers with Infernal Devices -- as political factions jockey for position while awaiting the impending death of the ailing queen; as the "holy grail" of alchemy, the key to life eternal, tantalizes and continues to elude Isaac Newton, yet is closer than he ever imagined; as the greatest technological innovation in history slowly takes shape in Waterhouse's manufactory.

Everything that was will be changed forever ...

The System of the World is the concluding volume in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, begun with Quicksilver and continued in The Confusion.
  

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Review: The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle (3 volume) #3)

User Review  - Michael Dendis - Goodreads

The conclusion of "The Baroque Cycle" was a very good book. I was very happy with the ending for all the main characters. I won't give any spoilers here but will say that I was not surprised with the ... Read full review

Review: The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle (3 volume) #3)

User Review  - Ben Drexler - Goodreads

Well...nearly ten years after it was published I've finally managed to finish this last volume of The Baroque Cycle. The first two books were endlessly frustrating for me with their courtly intrigues ... Read full review

Contents

Book
4
Book Seven
316
Book Eight
628
Epilogs
871
Copyright

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Page xi - But first, whom shall we send In search of this new world ? whom shall we find Sufficient ? who shall tempt with...
Page 579 - This night I'll change All that is metal, in my house, to gold : And early in the morning will I send To all the plumbers and the pewterers, And buy their tin and lead up ; and to Lothbury For all the copper.
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Page 450 - Then the Lord Chancellor, by her majesty's command, said " My Lords and Gentlemen, " It is her majesty's royal will and pleasure that this parliament be prorogued to Thursday the 24th day of October next, to be then here holden ; and this parliament is accordingly prorogued to Thursday the 24th day of October next.

About the author (2004)

Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem; the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World); Cryptonomicon; The Diamond Age; Snow Crash, which was named one of Time magazine's top one hundred all-time best English-language novels; and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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