The Clockwork Universe

Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

By Edward Dolnick
(Harper Perennial, Paperback, 9780061719523, 416pp.)

Publication Date: February 2012

Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover

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Description

In a world of chaos and disease, one group of driven, idiosyncratic geniuses envisioned a universe that ran like clockwork. They were the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world.

At the end of the seventeenth century, sickness was divine punishment, astronomy and astrology were indistinguishable, and the world’s most brilliant, ambitious, and curious scientists were tormented by contradiction. They believed in angels, devils, and alchemy yet also believed that the universe followed precise mathematical laws that were as intricate and perfectly regulated as the mechanisms of a great clock.

The Clockwork Universe captures these monolithic thinkers as they wrestled with nature’s most sweeping mysteries. Award-winning writer Edward Dolnick illuminates the fascinating personalities of Newton, Leibniz, Kepler, and others, and vividly animates their momentous struggle during an era when little was known and everything was new—battles of will, faith, and intellect that would change the course of history itself.




About the Author

Edward Dolnick is the author of Down the Great Unknown, The Forger’s Spell, and the Edgar Award-winning The Rescue Artist. A former chief science writer at the Boston Globe, he lives with his wife near Washington, D.C.




Praise For The Clockwork Universe

“Dolnick’s book is lively and the characters are vivid.”
-New York Times Book Review

“A character-rich, historical narrative.”
-Wall Street Journal

“Edward Dolnick’s smoothly written history of the scientific revolution tells the stories of the key players and events that transformed society.”
-Charlotte Observer

“An engrossing read.”
-Library Journal

“A lively account of early science. . . . Colorful, entertainingly written and nicely paced.”
-Kirkus Reviews

“[Dolnick] offers penetrating portraits of the geniuses of the day . . . who offer fertile ground for entertaining writing. [He] has an eye for vivid details in aid of historical recreation, and an affection for his subjects . . . [An] informative read.”
-Publishers Weekly

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