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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, 19 Jun 2002
Davywavy2 - See all my reviews
This review is from: Knowledge Is Power: How Magic, the Government and an Apocalyptic Vision Helped Francis Bacon to Create Modern Science (Revolutions in science) (Hardcover)
I often have half a dozen or so books on the go at any one time, and so it's difficult to sit down and read a book cover to cover without another one intruding. However, whenever I pick up this book, I always read a few pages and wonder why I didn't read it cover to cover in one sitting. After a chapter or so, I realise why, and put it back down again. It's because it is so well written, and informative, and crams so many facts and interesting snippets into such an easily read package that every chapter gives me several days of thinking to do, in order to assimilate the new information into my world view.
It is at heart the story of how Francis Bacon invented modern scientific method - but it's more than that, it's about why he did it, and the social background in which he did it. There's a lot of social history in this book, about the first real steps towards modern science, and there is a lot to disabuse many incorrect notions of magic and alchemy, and the role they played in society and their relationship with the church. On the way, Mr Henry touches on many subjects, including demonology & Satanism, the reformation and Lutherism, the Bible (and how the idea that it is all literal truth is actually relatively modern), the origins of the Illuminati and Rosicrucians, and even the city which seems to have been the inspiration for Minas Tirith.
It's surprisingly easy and fascinating to read, and I'm glad my girlfriend bought it. Just as soon as I've got it finished and given it back to her, I'm sure that she will be glad she bought it as well.
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