22 June 2010
NEWTON, Sir Isaac (1642-1727). The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy. Translated from Latin into English by Andrew Motte (d. 1730). - John MACHIN (d. 1751). The Laws of the Moon's Motion, according to Gravity. London: for Benjamin Motte, 1729.
2 volumes, 8o (186 x 118 mm). Engraved frontispieces by A. Motte (the second frontispiece bound in at its place at page 148), 2 folding letterpress tables, 47 folding engraved plates, 3 engraved head-pieces by Motte. (Corner of C3 torn away affecting a few letters, a few short marginal tears, upper margin trimmed closly, offsetting to The Laws of the Moon's Motion.) Modern calf antique.
FIRST EDITION IN ENGLISH OF THE PRINCIPIA, the most important work in the history of science, "perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make" (Einstein). "The Principia is generally described as the greatest work in the history of sience. Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler had certainly shown the way; but where they described the phenomena they observed, Newton explained the underlying laws" (PMM). The first edition was published in Latin in 1687, followed by a the second edition 1713. This edition also includes an English translation of Newton's System of the World, presumably by Motte. John Machin's unsuccessful attempt to rectify Newton's lunar theory is included at the end. Babson/Newton 20; Gray 23; Norman 1587; Wallis 23. See PMM 161. (2)
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