Juliet Wilson's Reviews > Newton

Newton by Patricia Fara
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's review
Aug 24, 2009

it was amazing
bookshelves: science, history

This is a fabulous book, from Patricial Fara. It isn't a biography as I had originally thought, it is something much more than that. It looks at Newton's achievements as a scientist and thinker and then explores how his achievements affected science. It also looks at how Newton's ideas shaped the general public's perceptions of the natural world and how Newton was made into a hero, with statues being erected to him and his portrait being a popular addition to educated people's living rooms. I was very impressed by Fara's commitment to highlighting female scientists and the role of women throughout the book.

There is also a generous section devoted to heroic poetry written about Newton. This really got me thinking - back then poetry had a real function in terms of informing people about news events and achievements, nowadays we've lost this and I'm not sure that poetry has a real function any more, perhaps that's why in general poetry seems to need to struggle to find an audience. What does anyone else think?

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message 1: by Emer (new) - added it

Emer Martin I've put it on my to read list. That's very interesting about the heroic poetry written to celebrate Newton. I'm a literary writer and have just brought out my first children's book. Why is the Moon Following Me? It is a collection of poems about the history of early Astronomy, Aristotle, Aristarchus, Ptolmey, Copernicus etc. Many people were pointing out that it is unusual to use art to explain science. Now I see there is a precedent. I was thinking of doing a book on Newton himself, so when that time comes I will read this for research.

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