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    The First English Language Edition of Newton's Landmark Principia

    Sir Isaac Newton. The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated into English by Andrew Motte. London: Benjamin Motte, 1729. First English translation of one of the most important books in the history of science. Two octavo volumes. [xxxviii], 320; [ii], 393, [13, Index], viii, [72] pages. With engraved frontispiece in each volume and twenty-five folding plates in volume I and nineteen folding plates in volume II. Complete. Bound to style in modern full speckled calf, boards double-ruled in gilt, spines ruled and tooled in gilt and black in compartments, burgundy gilt morocco lettering label. Original endleaves preserved. Front free endpapers, frontispieces, title-pages in each volume repaired or restored, with some loss to frontispiece of volume II, some very minor marginal worm damage to second half of text (and plates in that area) of volume I with no loss of text or images, text in volume II soiled at bottom (earlier pages are more soiled than later pages), previous owner's signature on the front free endpaper of both volumes. A good copy of this important title - which made Newton's work available to a much wider English-speaking audience.
    This edition has John Machin's The Laws of the Moon's Motion bound-in at the end of volume II (with separate title-page and pagination), which expands on Newton's lunar theory.

    "The Principia is generally described as the greatest work in the history of science. Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler had certainly shown the way; but where they described the phenomena they observed, Newton explained the underlying universal laws. The Principia provided the great synthesis of the cosmos, proving finally its physical unity. Newton showed that the important and dramatic aspects of nature that were subject to the universal law of gravitation could be explained, in mathematical terms, within a single physical theory. With him the separation of natural and supernatural, of sublunar and superlunary worlds disappeared." [PMM]. PMM 161 (describing the 1687 first edition). Norman 1587. Wallis 23.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    2nd Wednesday
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