Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer by Michael White
A biography of Isaac Newton that reveals the extraordinary influence that the study of alchemy had on the greatest Early Modern scientific discoveries. In this ‘ground breaking biography’ Michael White destroys the myths of the life of Isaac Newton and reveals a portrait of the scientist as the last sorcerer.
As warden and then master of the Royal Mint the biography gives an entertaining account of Newton as he tries to restructure the Royal Mint and increase efficiency, while simultaneously bringing to justice currency counterfeiters.
According to traditional accounts, Newton was the first modern scientist. As creator of the theory of gravity, calculus, modern theories of light and devisor of the three laws of mechanics, his methods are perceived as the genesis of modern science. Yet the traditional version of his life fails to tell, by some considerable margin, the full story. How for example could Newton’s apparent empiricism be married with his interest in alchemy and magic? What had inspired him in his discoveries? How did he reconcile his scientific discoveries with his religious faith? And, most of all, who was the person that seemed to be argumentative on the one hand and a kindly old man on the other?
This book gives a balance and engaging overview to the man behind the science.