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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent biography of one of our greatest scientists, providing interesting insights into his character
In my opinion, Michael White has written an excellent, well researched biography of one of our greatest scientists. He explains in detail how Isaac Newton had a troubled childhood and how this may have adversely affected his personality in later life, leading him to be very secretive, trusting few people and disliking criticism, and resulting in him being reticent to...
Published 17 months ago by Roger

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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thesis failed
The original idea of this book (so it claims) is that Newton's success in Mathematics and Mechanics was BECAUSE of his Alchemical researches. The thesis is not made. There is no argument worth anything that this is the case.
That Newton spent time on alchemy throughout his years at Cambridge and thereafter, is no argument that it played any part in his science. It is...
Published 21 months ago by W. Scott


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11 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The best biography of Newton I’ve read to date, 31 Dec. 2003
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Keith Appleyard "kapple999" (Brighton, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
I've read other biographies of Sir Isaac Newton, and this is the best. As the title suggests, there is an emphasis on his interest in Alchemy.
I worried (unnecessarily as it turned out) that other aspects of his life would be neglected. But his time at the Royal Mint, and his clashes with Huygens, Hooke, Leibniz etc are well covered.
The only disappointment for some readers might be that this is not an overtly scientific/mathematical biography - there are no formulae : so if you want to know that little more detail about Newton's discoveries, such as the Laws of Motion, Laws of Gravity, and Differential Calculus, you won't see any of that in here. In fact the word 'Gravity' (perhaps his most famous discovery) doesn’t even appear in the Index (although the 'Apple' does).
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11 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fairly good, 28 Jan. 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
This is a well-written but rather strange book. There is a lot of alchemical detail, with frequent statements that in some way alchemy was what guided Newton's work in physics - but the evidence for the link is not given. For instance, it is said that Newton made up the apple story and that the idea of central gravity was suggested by the shape of a star-like crystal he grew. But this is just the author's unsupported statement - no real evidence is given that the apple story is false or that the crystal gave Newton the idea.
Also, I was disappointed that the book was not more scientific - and there is a fundamental error in the author's statement that a 'perfect' lens would give no aberration: in fact to avoid aberration, special coatings are needed - a perfect shape will not solve the problem. In fact, the whole reason Newton turned his back on refracting telescopes was that he discovered that even a 'perfectly' shaped lens would NOT solve the problem.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Legendary human, 28 April 2014
By 
Koos "Koos Reitsma" (Groningen, Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
Michael White has written a very entertaining, well documented and researched story about the late great-greater-greatest Sir Isaac Newton. White has positioned Newton as Newton was: not as a myth or as a superman, but as a man and as a human with its extraordinary talents, knowledge and influences.

The apple falls from the three and then there’s gravity. For many years that wase the only thing I knew about Sir Isaac Newton. Gradually I came to understand there was of course way more to tell and way more to discover. Newton is one of the greatest of all time. But who was Newton?

Michael White has written this biography in a rather down-to-earth way. The biography gives a good insight in Newton his childhood, his move to Cambridge, his isolement, the ‘gravity’ Book, the move to London, becoming the Mint’s person in control, his clashes with Hooke, Flamsteed and Leibniz and his death. White is not there to idolize Newton and to neglect information that is less favorable for Newton in some situations. But White is also there to put aside rumors and assumptions with funded arguments. All this together, for me that worked very well while reading this biography, because it gave me a good insight in Sir Isaac Newton: a tremendous clever human with his positive and some negative aspects.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good, 9 Jun. 2015
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Amazingly detailed account of the Great Man. However it misses out some parts of his life which is a bit frustrating.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating, 12 Jun. 2013
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This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
it was captivating from the first to the last page. i know nothing of science, but the book made it very easy to understand. I was mesmerized by the life of this great man, some episodes touching and revealing.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and eye opening, 8 April 2003
This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
I have read this book and found it both fascinating and a real eye opener. Newton's interest in alchemy had been kept quiet by many people, as had details of his life away from the scientific world. He is a thoroughly fascinating character and anyone interested in the man as well as his work would do well to read this.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 2 April 2013
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I enjoyed this book - a thought provoking read about one of the greatest minds mankind has produced. Recommended reading.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sorcerer ? Alchemist ? Physicist? Lunatic!, 1 Oct. 2000
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Tony Watson "Bones" (Newcastle-on-Tyne, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
Approaching this subject with a preconception of Newton on a pedestal as a demi-god, I felt both let-down and uplifted...
Let-down by Newton, because the book gives such an insight into the devious, underhand methods he used and how he would ride rough-shod over anyone in the way of his ideas.... Also, I fail to understand how such an intelligent man could swallow all the Alchemical drivel of the time - thousands of years of experimentation and still nobody discovered the Philosopher's Stone... that should have rung a warning bell!
Uplifted, because Mr White never lets you become bogged-down in the details of the subject - he injects another perspective at the right moment, letting you see that our 'demi-god' is as fallible as the rest of us. Also enlightening was the fact that Newton was 'in charge' of the Royal Mint at its most crucial point in history.... without his intervention, the British economy could have slid into irrecoverable bankruptcy.
Early on we get a glimpse of Newton's leanings (both emotionally and experimentally) and this is elaborated on to give a rounded profile of the man. Given all the pies he had a finger in; the challenges he set himself; and the physical and emotional deprivations he went through, it's surprising that he didn't end up totally insane. We see him on the brink of it, throwing all his principles out of the window, back-stabbing his 'colleagues' and alienating himself by his strange behaviour.
A damned good read.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Newton Biography, 13 Feb. 2013
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An interesting account of Isaac newton's life, but with a lot of emphasis on alchemy. This detracted slightly from the main account.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mad Genius, 22 Mar. 2000
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Br Cottrell "brc78" (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer (Paperback)
This is a facinating and revealing book of the greatest mathematical physicist perhaps ever. It delvs deep into his past and offers reasons for his behavior, which was strange to say the least! I came to the conclusion after reading this book that Newton was absolutly mad. I would say that to anyone interested in physics that this book is a must read. I liked it because it kills off the myths that school physics teachers put inside your head. If you belived what they said then you would think he was a demigod who in an instant figured out the basics of machanics. This book puts a human face to this great man. I found his motivations most interesting. I won't give away any details, so you will have to but it and read it. I don't think that you will regret it.
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Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer
Isaac Newton: The Last Sorcerer by Michael White (Paperback - 3 Sept. 1998)
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