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    Sale 12260

    Books & Manuscripts

    16 June 2016, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 132

    NEWTON, Sir Isaac. Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Edition tertia aucta et emendate. Edited by Henry Pemberton. London: William & John Innys, 1726.

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    NEWTON, Sir Isaac. Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica. Edition tertia aucta et emendate. Edited by Henry Pemberton. London: William & John Innys, 1726.

    4° (247 x 192 mm). Half-title (bound after the title), title-page printed in red and black, engraving on page 506, woodcut diagrams throughout, 2-page advertisements at end. Engraved portrait frontispiece of Newton by Vertue after Vanderbank. (Lacks privilege leaf as often, light marginal soiling on several leaves at end.) Contemporary calf (rebacked preserving original gilt spine panel).

    Third edition, the last published in the author's lifetime, and THE BASIS FOR ALL SUBSEQUENT EDITIONS. "Pemberton was invited to superintend the editing of the third edition of the Principia... Pemberton was then about thirty years old and was rightly flattered to get the opportunity to work so closely with the great eighty-year-old Newton. However, Newton often ignored Pemberton's editorial suggestions. Pemberton wrote A View of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy, which he had partly read to the dying Newton. It made no great mark but could at least be recommended as being propaedeutic" (DNB). Including Newton's Prefaces to previous editions and his new one mentioning Halley's comet, and many alterations "the most important being the scholium on fluxions, in which Leibnitz had been mentioned by name. This had been considered an acknowledgement of Leibnitz's independent discovery of the calculus. In omitting Leibnitz's name in this edition, Newton was criticised as taking advantage of an opponent whose death had prevented any reply" (Babson). Babson 13; Wallis 9.


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