Newton: A Very Short Introduction

Front Cover
OUP Oxford, Jan 25, 2007 - Science - 144 pages
6 Reviews
This Very Short Introduction uses Newton's own unpublished writings to provide fascinating insight into the man who kept the Royal Society under his thumb, was Head of the Mint, and whose contributions to our understanding of the heavens and the earth are considered by many to be unparalleled. The author begins with the legends surrounding Newton before next exploring the forces that shaped his life, introducing, along the way, many of the key thinkers and politicians of the time. Although Newton's science was largely revered (his reputation reached near-immortal status with the publication of the Principia), theologically, his beliefs were very controversial. He was a fanatical Protestant, and claimed that tribes like the Goths, Vandals, and Huns had tried to save the planet from the corruption of the Catholics. He was also convinced that he was specially chosen by God to protect the original, pure form of Christianity, and viewed any criticisms directed at him as a form of persecution. Resisting the urge to show how Newton's views on alchemy, mathematics, physics, and religion complemented one another, the author instead emphasises that these were the very different obsessions of an extremely complex man whose beliefs at the time dominated England's political, religious, and intellectual landscape. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Newton: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #158)

User Review  - Zach Augustine - Goodreads

An indiscriminate view of the life of Newton, and it's not what you'd expect. This quick read is definitely worth it if only to dispel any incorrect assumptions you may hold about the world's greatest ... Read full review

Review: Newton: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions #158)

User Review  - Greg Hovanesian - Goodreads

Newton was kind of a madman. The guy who made arguably the most important discoveries in physics for an entire millennium, the guy who discovered groundbreaking properties of light, the guy developed ... Read full review

Selected pages


List of illustrations
Chapter 1A national man
Chapter 2Playing philosophically
Chapter 3The marvellous years
Chapter 4The censorious multitude
Chapter 5A true hermetic philosopher
Chapter 6One of Gods chosen few
Chapter 7The divine book
Chapter 8In the city
Chapter 9Lord and master of all
Chapter 10Centaurs and other animals
Further reading

Common terms and phrases

Bibliographic information