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4.0 out of 5 stars Misidentity
An important claim is made by the author in the book introduction. She believes that a portrait originally attributed to John Ray actually represents Robert Hooke. If that was true it would mean that for the first time we can have an idea of what Robert Hook looked like, for no known portraits of him have survived. The reason given is that Newton despised him so much that...
Published 15 months ago by Normand Hamel

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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed reader
Having admired for a long time some of the theorems of Robert Hooke, and also being amazed of his diversity, I looked forward to reading this book. But I was astonished how an exciting thinker could actually be put back in the cupboard he should have leaft a long time ago! The sometimes tedious descriptions of all correspondences and repetitions of some facts, and the...
Published on 13 Jun 2006 by R. Sindelar


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14 of 18 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed reader, 13 Jun 2006
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R. Sindelar "ricksets" (Atlantis) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London (Paperback)
Having admired for a long time some of the theorems of Robert Hooke, and also being amazed of his diversity, I looked forward to reading this book. But I was astonished how an exciting thinker could actually be put back in the cupboard he should have leaft a long time ago! The sometimes tedious descriptions of all correspondences and repetitions of some facts, and the lack of synthetizing the ideas and discoveries of this man, that maybe stand as the sole witnesses of his accomplishments, is somewhat strange. Also, the negligence of defining the time and the environment he lived in, and foremost the probably disadvantage of not being born noble, has not been elucidated far enough. Was he the sole man in the scientific life of the 17th century England not to be recognized for his scientific work? The definition of "the winner takes it all" is also hastily put together, and that is maybe one of the feelings you get from this book, that the writer has not unveiled the incredible stringency and skills, and maybe visions, of all these men deducing facts about the laws of nature from observations and with instruments that actually were far from perfect. That's sad..as we've been left with immense treasures from which it should be more easy to derive insights about these men and their time.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Misidentity, 20 April 2013
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Normand Hamel "Normand Hamel" (Brownsburg-Chatham, Quebec) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London (Paperback)
An important claim is made by the author in the book introduction. She believes that a portrait originally attributed to John Ray actually represents Robert Hooke. If that was true it would mean that for the first time we can have an idea of what Robert Hook looked like, for no known portraits of him have survived. The reason given is that Newton despised him so much that he arranged for his portrait, which was hanging at the Royal Society, to be destroyed. But Jardine's theory has since come under attack. According to Wikipedia, the painting does not represent Robert Hook, nor John Ray. It is actually a portrait of Jan Baptista van Helmont.

Here is an excerpt from Wikipedia:

"In 2003, the historian Lisa Jardine claimed a recently discovered portrait represented Robert Hooke. However, Jardine's hypothesis was disproved by William Jensen of the University of Cincinnati and by the German researcher Andreas Pechtl of Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz. The portrait in fact depicts Jan Baptista van Helmont."

I thought potential readers might want to know this information before they start reading the book.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book about our most under-rated scientist, 31 Jan 2006
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Mr. K. Papas "kleopapas" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London (Paperback)
The word polymath was made for Robert Hooke. This man was prodigious and it is time he was given the accolades that he didn't receive during a lifetime overshadowed by the genius of Isaac Newton. Not only did he prepare weekly experiments for The Royal Society over a period of years but he also found time to make scientific discoveries (Hooke's Law of Elasticity), to rebuild most of the London areas devastated by the Great Fire and make the first serious microscopic observations. He was a superb engineer, architect, designer and artist who has left an indelible imprint on science. You may also like to try "The Man Who Knew Too Much" by Stephen Inwood.
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9 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well Done Lisa, 14 Dec 2004
This review is from: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London (Paperback)
An excellent insight into the life of Robert Hooke. I have read a couple of biographies on Issac Newton, but only ever seen passing references to Hooke and his claims against Newton. Now I understand better the man, his character and his strengths and weaknesses. This book takes the romance out of the story of the Royal Society and shows that its founders were human after all.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All you wanted to know about Robert Hooke, 2 Aug 2009
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Geoffrey Lake "Geoff Lake" (Wales UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London (Paperback)
Very well written and full of background information about the exciting times Hooke lived in, as well as a great insight into the man himself. Neal Stephenson's "System of the World" series brought me to find out about this fascinating time in Western history and Lisa Jardine's scholarly but enjoyable book adds a further dimension
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The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London
The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man who Measured London by Lisa Jardine (Paperback - 6 Sep 2004)
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