10 December 1999
[NEWTON, Sir Isaac]. [PEMBERTON, Henry (1694-1771)]. A View of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy. London: S. Palmer, 1728.
4o (280 x 220 mm). 12 engraved folding plates, engraved vignettes, head- and tail-pieces. (Faint soiling to title, light, mostly marginal foxing to preliminaries and last leaves). Contemporary tree calf (rebacked, corners renewed, small repair to back cover, minor scuffing and a few scratches). Provenance: G.W. Aylmer (ownership inscription dated 1804 on front flyleaf).
FIRST EDITION. Newton and Pemberton became acquainted over an attempted proof by an Italian mathematician of Leibnitz's assertion that the force of descending bodies is proportional to the square of their velocity. Both Newton and Pemberton wrote refutations of the proof, based on different grounds. The two became friends, and Pemberton was employed by Newton to oversee the third edition (1726) of the Principia, and is mentioned in the author's new preface to this work as "vir harum rerum peritissimus". Pemberton's View included a preface with his own recollections of the author.
This book was the first to be printed in any of Caslon's roman types and may mark the first appearance of his Great Primer roman, his second roman type. Palmer commented on the publication of Pemberton's book in the Daily Journal of January 3, 1728: "I hope the subscribers will pardon the Delay and the rather since I waited Half a Year for the making of a new Font of Types" (James Mosely, Journal of the Printing Historical Society 3:74, 1967). Babson 98; Gray 132.
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