Never at rest : a biography of Isaac Newton


Never at rest : a biography of Isaac Newton

Richard S. Westfall

(Cambridge paperback library)

Cambridge University Press, 1983, c1980

1st pbk. ed

  • : paperback

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"First published [as hardback] 1980" -- T.p. verso

Bibliography: p. 875-884

Includes indexes



This richly detailed 1981 biography captures both the personal life and the scientific career of Isaac Newton, presenting a fully rounded picture of Newton the man, the scientist, the philosopher, the theologian, and the public figure. Professor Westfall treats all aspects of Newton's career, but his account centres on a full description of Newton's achievements in science. Thus the core of the work describes the development of the calculus, the experimentation that altered the direction of the science of optics, and especially the investigations in celestial dynamics that led to the law of universal gravitation.


  • Preface
  • Acknowledgments
  • A note about dates
  • Abbreviations used in footnotes
  • 1. The discovery of a new world
  • 2. A sober, silent, thinking lad
  • 3. The solitary scholar
  • 4. Resolving problems by motion
  • 5. Anni mirabiles
  • 6. Lucasian professor
  • 7. Publication and crisis
  • 8. Rebellion
  • 9. Years of silence
  • 10. Principia
  • 11. Revolution
  • 12. The Mint
  • 13. President of the Royal Society
  • 14. The priority dispute
  • 15. Years of decline
  • Bibliographical essay
  • List of illustrations
  • Index.

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