David Bodanis

Last of the Magicians

The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts

By

Oxford University Press 238pp £25 order from our bookshop

What is genius like? Newton left over 8 million words of notes at his death, and somewhere in that mass was the answer. But many of those who first got a glimpse of them were so appalled at what they found that, as Sarah Dry, the author of this fascinating tale recounts, they made sure the bulk of the papers ‘remained unexamined, hidden from sight for more than seven generations’.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Lecture on war and peace in 19th-century Europe by Professor Sir Richard Evans, Thurs 25 Oct, 6.30pm Europe House… ,
    • 'Why, throughout the world, are so many people fascinated by the fiction and reality of espionage? And why of all p… ,
    • . here on books, Muriel Spark and life's tangled dance ,
    • RT : There aren't enough aggressive subtitles these days: ,
    • Churchill's on the cover of the October edition of the magazine. Piers Brendon reviews two new books about the Brit… ,
    • 'Readers have no more power to predict where the next story is going to take them than the prisoners had to determi… ,
    • 'Ho was no Soviet or Chinese puppet. He was a nationalist first and foremost. Had the Americans just realised this.… ,