Description

    Newton Defended and Vindicated in the Controversy Over the Invention of Calculus

    [Sir Isaac Newton]. John Collins. Commercium epistolicum D. Johannis Collins, et aliorum de Analysi Promota: Jussu Societatis Regiae in lucem editum. London: Typis Pearsonianis, 1712.

    First edition of the official report of the Royal Society on the dispute between Leibniz and Newton over priority in the discovery of calculus, ruling in Newton's favor. First state of page 34 with incorrect catchword "nitu", and page 35 line ending with "infi-". Small quarto (8.5 x 6.25 inches). [4], 122, excised leaf, possibly printer's waste, errata leaf, pages. Numerous woodcut diagrams in the text.

    Early twentieth-century calf. Covers decoratively paneled in blind, smooth spine ruled in blind and lettered in gilt, edges dyed. An extraordinary copy with only minor toning to the pages. Fine. Very rare.

    An extremely rare and important first edition of the work that established Newton's priority over Leibniz in the invention of calculus. Newton is generally acknowledged as having compiled and edited the work, which also contains De Analysis per Aequationes Numero Terminorum Infinitas, Newton's earliest work on the calculus (1669) first printed in 1711. "Only a few copies were printed for presentation and the work became so rare shortly after publication that Raphson complained in 1715 that it 'was not be met with among booksellers'" (Babson).

    "The celebrated report drawn up by order of the Royal Society and consisting of a selection from the correspondence of John Collins, with some of the most celebrated mathematicians of the time." The substantive parts of the report were drafted largely by Newton himself. The work was printed for presentation only.

    Babson 186. ESTC T18481. Gjertsen, The Newton Handbook, pages 127-129. Norman Library 1591. Gray 237. Wallis 237.


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    October, 2010
    14th-16th Thursday-Saturday
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