The System of the World

Front Cover
Harper Collins, Oct 13, 2009 - Fiction - 928 pages
587 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)

User Review  - Jeremiah - Goodreads

I liked reading this trilogy, but I'm also kind of glad it is over. I read the three books at very different paces, and I read The Confusion the fastest out of the three. This one had a pretty good mix of action and intrigue. It was an interesting read overall, and I'm glad I read it. Read full review

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

User Review  - Mark Kacar - Goodreads

The entire Baroque series is a winding, complicated, detail-rich voyage along thousands of pages. A recommended read for anyone with hundreds of hours to spare. Read full review


Billingsgate Dock
A Tavern HockleyintheHole
Book 8
Marlborough House
The Temple of Vulcan
The KitCat Clubb
Orneys Shipyard Rotherhithe

Mr Whites BaitingRing
Orneys Shipyard Rotherhithe
A Subterranean Vault in Clerkenwell
Sir Isaac Newtons House St Martins Street London
Leicester House
The KitCat Clubb
Crane Court London
River Thames
Lieutenants Lodging the Tower of London
Sloop Atalanta Gravesend
Cold Harbour
Sloop Atalanta the Hope
The Monument London
Sloop Atalanta off the Isle of Grain
Lieutenants Lodging the Tower of London
The City of London
Sloop Atalanta off the Shive
The Monument
Worths Coffeehouse Birchin Lane London
Shive Tor
The White Tower
Shive Tor
Book 7
Westminster Palace
Garden of Herrenhausen Palace Hanover
Princess Carolines Bedchamber Herrenhausen Palace
Between Black Marys Hole and Sir John Oldcastles North of London
Clerkenwell Court
Westminster Palace
Westminster Palace
The KitCat Clubb
The Carriage
The Launch Prudence
Royal Society Crane Court
Clerkenwell Court
Golden Square
Leicester House
Newgate Prison
Golden Square
The Black Dogg Newgate Prison
Monmouth Street
Leicester Fields
The Black Dogg Newgate Prison
Bolingbrokes House Golden Square
The Italian Opera
Golden Square
Billingsgate Dock
Sophia Mouth of the Thames
Orneys Shipyard Rotherhithe
Library of Leicester House
London Bridge
Roger Comstocks House
The Castle Newgate Prison
The Black Dogg of Newgate
Fleet Prison
The TapRoom Fleet Prison
Under a Pile of Lead Weights the PressRoom Newgate Prison
Westminster Abbey
The Court of the Old Bailey
The Tower of London
A Letter
Mint Street the Tower of London
A Letter
The Condemned Hold Newgate Prison
The Gallows Tower Hill
The PressYard and Castle Newgate Prison
Clerkenwell Court
The Chapel Newgate Prison
Halfway Along Cheapside
Poop Deck of Minerva the Pool of London
The Temple of Vulcan
Newgate Prison
Sir Isaac Newtons House in St Martins
Westminster Abbey
Chapel of Newgate Prison
New Palace Yard Westminster
The Stone Anvil the High Hall Newgate Prison
The Trial of the Pyx
The PressYard Newgate Prison
Star Chamber
Church of St Sepulchre
Star Chamber
Star Chamber
LeibnizHaus Hanover
Gardens of Trianon Royal Château of Versailles
Blenheim Palace
About the Author
Also by Neal Stephenson
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About the author (2009)

Neal Stephenson is the author of Reamde, Anathem, and the three-volume historical epic the Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World), as well as Cryptonomicon, The Diamond Age, Snow Crash, and Zodiac. He lives in Seattle, Washington.

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