30 April 2008
NEWTON, Isaac (1642-1727). Opticks: or, A Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflections and Colours of Light. London: W. and J. Innys, 1718.
8° (193 x 121mm). 12 folding engraved plates. With final advertisement leaf. (Light browning, two plates slightly shaved, one with loss to heading, without preliminary advertisements.) Contemporary speckled calf, gilt FFF stamp on spine (joints cracked, spine chipped at head and foot, lettering-piece lacking). Provenance: textual correction to L8v -- Francis Ferrand Foljambe (binding).
Second issue of the second (and first octavo) edition with newly engraved plates to fit the reduced size. The mathematical tracts were omitted 'as not belonging to the subject', and the number of queries at the end of book three was increased from 16 to 31, including the celebrated query no. 28 on the nature of light ('Are not all Hypotheses erroneous which have hitherto been invented for explaining the Phenomena of Light, by new Modification of the Rays?'). Babson notes that most copies of the second edition are the reissue of 1718. Babson 134.
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