Pemberton's Explanation of Newtonianism

    [Sir Isaac Newton]. Henry Pemberton. A View of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy. London: Printed by S. Palmer, 1728.

    First edition. Large paper copy. Large quarto (11.25 x 8.75 inches; 286 x 224 mm.). [50], 407, [1, blank] pages. Twelve folding engraved plates of diagrams. Engraved title vignette, six engraved head-piece vignettes, five engraved tail-piece vignettes, and five engraved historiated initials by John Pine after J. Grison.

    Includes: "A poem on Sir Isaac Newton," by R. Glover: pages [13-27] at the beginning.

    Contemporary mottled calf (worn), neatly rebacked to style. Spine decoratively tooled in gilt in compartments with six gilt-decorated raised bands and burgundy morocco label tooled and lettered in gilt. Covers with gilt single-rule border (now mostly worn away, board edges decoratively tooled in gilt (also worn), edges sprinkled red. Hinges repaired, endpapers browned at the edges from turn-ins. Some mostly marginal foxing throughout. Dampstain in the upper gutter margin, with traces of mold. Armorial bookplate of Thomas Coates on the front pastedown (his name does not appear in the "List of Subscribers").

    "This study of Newton's philosophy is interesting as being the account of a close friend. The preface contains the author's recollections of Newton, especially in his old age. There is also a poem on Sir Isaac by Richard Glover written in his 16th year; the author's introduction on Newton's method of reasoning in philosophy; and a long list of subscribers" (Babson).

    This handsome book was the first to be printed in any of Caslon's roman types and may mark the first appearance of his Great Primer roman, his second roman type. Palmer announced the publication of Pemberton's book in the Daily Journal of January 3, 1728: "I hope the subscribers will pardon the Delay and the rather since I waited Half a Year for the making of a new Font of Types" (see James Mosley's article in the Journal of the Printing Historical Society 3:74 [1967]).

    Babson 98, Gray 132 (neither printed on large paper). Wallis 132.

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    Auction Dates
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