Higgitt examines Isaac Newton's changing legacy during the nineteenth century. She focuses on 1820–1870, a period that saw the creation of the specialized and secularized role of the "scientist." At the same time, researchers gained better access to Newton's archives. These were used both by those who wished to undermine the traditional, idealised depiction of scientific genius and those who felt obliged to defend Newtonian hagiography. Higgitt shows how debates about Newton's character stimulated historical scholarship and led to the development of a new expertise in the history of science.
About the Author
Curtis G. Murphy is assistant professor in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Religious Studies at Nazarbayev University in Astana, Kazakhstan.
Table of ContentsCover Half Title Title Page Copyright Page Table of Contents Acknowledgments Dedication List of Illustrations and Tables Introduction Background Science and Genius Sources for Newtonian Biography Outline of Contents Conclusion 1. Jean-Baptiste Biot’s ‘Newton’ and its Translation (1822–1829) Biot’s ‘Newton’ and the Laplacian Programme Biot’s ‘Newton’: Light, Priority, Madness and Religion& Newton for the Workers? The SDUK and Biography& Translating Biot’s ‘Newton’ Conclusion 2. David Brewster’s Life of Sir Isaac Newton (1831): Defending the Hero Brewster’s Life of Newton Contradictions: Brewster on Genius and Baconianism& The Life of Newton and the Reform of Science Responses to Brewster’s Life of Newton Conclusion 3. Francis Baily’s Account of the Revd. John Flamsteed (1835) The Flamsteed/Newton Controversy Revisited A Select Audience Published Responses Baily’s Reply Conclusion 4. Newtonian Studies and the History of Science 1835–1855 Stephen Rigaud’s Historical Writings Antiquarians, Archivists, Librarians and Historians of Science& Joseph Edleston’s Correspondence of Newton and Cotes (1850) Augustus De Morgan’s Historical Writings Morality and ‘Impartial’ History Conclusion 5. David Brewster’s Memoirs of Sir Isaac Newton (1855): The ‘regretful witness’ The Gestation of Brewster’s Memoirs The Memoirs and the History of Science Controversies: The Second Volume of the Memoirs Newton’s Personality in the Memoirs and its Reviews Conclusion 6. The ‘Mythical’ and the ‘Historical’ Newton Placing Newton on his Pedestal: The Grantham Statue (1858) Newton: His Friend: And His Niece (1853–1870): Misreadings and Reassessment ‘Newton dépossédé!’: The Affair of the Pascal Forgeries (1867–1870) The British Response to the Pascal Forgeries Conclusion Conclusion Notes Appendix: Translations of Quotations from Biot’s ‘Newton’ in Chapter 1& Works Cited Index