Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Helix Books)

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9780738201436: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Helix Books)

Unknown to all but a few, Newton was a practicing alchemist who dabbled with the occult, a tortured, obsessive character who searched for an understanding of the universe by whatever means possible. Sympathetic yet balanced, Michael White's Isaac Newton offers a revelatory picture of Newton as a genius who stood at the point in history where magic ended and science began.

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Review:

Science writer Michael White's subtitle, The Last Sorcerer, echoes John Maynard Keynes's assertion in 1942 that Isaac Newton (1642-1727) was not the Olympian rationalist portrayed by his worshipful early biographers. Newton was a great scientist, the author acknowledges; he was also an "obsessive, driven mystic," deeply involved in the pseudoscience of alchemy, subscriber to a heretical sect of Christianity, and damaged survivor of childhood traumas that rendered him a difficult, egotistical, quarrelsome adult. White makes recent research accessible to the general reader in lucid prose that knocks the academic dust off a towering historical figure.

About the Author:

Michael White was a science lecturer and director of studies at d'Overbroeck's College, Oxford for ten years before becoming a full-time writer and journalist. He is the co-author (with John Gribben) of the best seller, Stephen Hawking: A Life In Science which has been translated into 25 languages and has sold in excess of 250,000 copies worldwide. He is a regular contributor to The Sunday Times, The Observer, The Daily Telegraph, GQ, Focus and New Scientist, writing on subjects ranging from pure science to music. He lives in London.

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