A TREASURY OF SCIENTIFIC PROSE by Howard Mumford & hen I. Bernard Ed. Jones


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Editors Jones and Cohen have here garnered a golden harvest of England's 19th century scientific prose, golden from three aspects: scientists were then still writing in the expository tradition of Bacon and Donne; they still sought to cultivate the layman, to make the and they succeeded; finally, their underlying philo-theological principles, embracing a universal harmony of design and unity of purpose, contrast sharply with mechanics, Heisenbergian indeterminacy and Godelian mathematical infinities, making it seem as if we were leaving the world of Kafka for that of Lewis Carroll. There are a few dullards, of course, and some orotund pronunciamentos, but generally the texts sparkle. Best of the lot include Herschel's astronomy classic, Joule's conservation of energy law, Faraday's Mr. Chips-styled ""chemical history of a candle"", Maxwell's electromagnetism studies, Lyell's evolutionary school of geology, Bell's 'humors' of the Anatomy, both for man and beast, and Darwin's famed Beagle explorations into the transmutation of species and natural selection. A view of the Victorian Wonderland, excellent for both reference and readability.

Pub Date: Jan. 24th, 1962
Publisher: Little, Brown