An elementary treatise on determinants, with their application to simultaneous linear equations and algebraical geometry

DODGSON, Charles (Lewis Carroll)

Published by Macmillan, 1867
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A magnificent copy with the original cloth covers mounted and bound into full red calf by Rivière, with an elaborate gilt spine and morocco labels. First edition of Dodgson's only full mathematics textbook, which presents his ingenious method for computing the determinant of a square matrix, greatly simplifying what was until then a tedious process of multiple computations. Determinants are useful in the analysis and solution of linear equations. Emerging in connection with the theory of equations, by the nineteenth century determinants had become an increasingly significant area of mathematical study.Dodgson (1832-1898), a logician and lecturer in mathematics at Christ Church, Oxford, is best known as the author of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland ,Through the Looking Glass, and The Hunting of the Snark, written under his pseudonym Lewis Carroll. Bookseller Inventory #

Bibliographic Details

Title: An elementary treatise on determinants, with...
Publisher: Macmillan
Publication Date: 1867
Edition: FIRST EDITION.

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1.

Carroll (Lewis, i.e. Charles Lutwidge Dodgson]
Published by Macmillan (1867)
Used Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Blackwell's Rare Books ABA ILAB BA
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Book Description Macmillan, 1867. FIRST EDITION, title-page a trifle soiled, pp. viii, 143, 4to, original reddish dark brown cloth by Burn, black (or very dark green) endpapers (as opposed to white, as called for by Williams et al), the front fly-leaf adhering to the paste-down and with a couple of tears, a little worn, short tear at foot of spine, various corrections and additions to the text in an unidentified hand. 'Determinants belong to higher mathematics, and are the sums of the products (of a particular kind) of a square block of quantities. Their condensation, or reduction to simpler forms, facilitates the solution of simultaneous linear equations, and other similar problems.' (Williams, pp.39-40) In his Diaries on February 27th, 1865, Dodgson wrote that he had 'discovered a process for evaluating arithmetical Determinants, by a sort of condensation, and proved it up to 4[2] terms.' His paper on the subject was read to the Royal Society on May 17th, and it appeared in the Proceedings, no.84, 1866. Dodgson continued to work on his paper with a view to publication. This involved a great deal of revision, re-writing, and expansion. He recorded in his Diary that this 'little book . has given me more trouble than anything I have ever written: it is such entirely new ground to explore.' In a letter dated February 11th, 1867, he informed Macmillan, his publisher, that Elements of Determinants (the title was later changed) was near completion, and asked Macmillan's advice about how many he should ask the University Press to print. In his reply of the following day, Macmillan suggested a printing of 750 copies, although the eventual number is not known. It appeared, bound in brown cloth, early in December 1867. The book was well received, but there is no evidence that sales were heavy (see Morton Cohen and Amanda Gandolfo. Lewis Carroll and the House of Macmillan. C.U.P., 1987). Collingwood (The Lives and Letters of Lewis Carroll), with all the uncomprehending scepticism of the non-mathematician, says that the work 'is largely original, and its arrangement and style are, perhaps, as attractive as the nature of the subject will allow.' It is usually thought to be the book which features in the apocryphal story about Queen Victoria, who, having enjoyed Alice, asked to be sent Mr. Dodgson's next book, and was sadly disappointed to receive An Elementary Treatise on Determinants. The MS corrections are fairly substantive, but in a hand quite unlike Dodgson's - except for 5 words in pencil (all the rest in ink) at the end of the first definition -'or an inversion, by Laplace' - which does resemble Dodgson's hand, albeit a little shaky. (Collingwood pp.110, 432: Williams [et al] 57). Seller Inventory # 59658

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2.

Charles Dodgson, Lewis Carroll
Published by Macmillan & Co, London (1867)
Used Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Rare And Antique Books PBFA
(Exeter, DEVON, United Kingdom)
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Book Description Macmillan & Co, London, 1867. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. No Jacket. 1st Edition. An Elementary Treatise on Determinants with their application to Simultaneous Linear Equations and Algebraical Geometry by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), Student and Mathematical Lecturer of Christ Church, Oxford. A scarce edition of Dodgson's works of higher mathematical study and in a very good state. In his Diaries of Feb 27th 1865 Dodgson recorded that he had "discovered a process for evaluating arithmetical Determinants, by sort of condensation, and proved it up to 4 (2) terms". (Determinants. are the sum of of the products of a square block of quantities. Their condensation, or reduction to simpler forms, facilitates the solution of simultaneous linear equations, and other similar problems." Williams pp 39-14). Dodgson's paper on the subject was read to the Royal Society on May 17th 1866 and was under repeated revision. Dodgson commented that "this little book has given me more trouble than anything else I have ever written: it is such entirely new ground to explore". The number of first printings was low, approximately 750 although it is not known the exact number published. Provence: A copy of Denis Crutch who revised "The Lewis Carroll Handbook" bibliography. Williams, Madan, Green and Crutch 1957. A rare find of one of Dodgson's unique works. Original brown cloth with dulled gilt lettering on the spine. Covers lightly soiled, mild shelfwear and spine ends lightly chipped. The dark green end papers are clean with tiny booksellers stamp on the front free page. The contents are clean. 4to. 143 pp. Seller Inventory # 000407

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