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From Servant to Queen: A Journey through Victorian Mathematics


  • Date Published: April 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107124134

£ 34.99

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About the Authors
  • With a few notable exceptions, pure mathematics in Britain at the beginning of the nineteenth century was mainly a recreation for amateurs. Drawing on primary sources, John Heard provides an engaging account of the process by which it rose to become an academic discipline of repute which by the First World War was led by G. H. Hardy, and supported by the internationally-respected London Mathematical Society. In chronicling that rise, this book describes key contributions and the social environment in which mathematicians operated, using contemporary commentary where appropriate. No mathematical knowledge is required, and readers with a wide range of interests and backgrounds will find much to enjoy here. The material is presented from an impartial point of view, and provides full references to help any researchers who want to dig deeper into the original sources. The result is a unique insight into the world of Victorian mathematics and science.

    • Presents an original argument that will engage readers from a wide range of backgrounds
    • Treats mathematics as an activity, helping the reader to understand that it is more than simply a body of knowledge
    • Mathematical terminology is used sparingly and always clearly explained, so no prior mathematical knowledge is needed
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'It is really interesting to read how long the Leibniz-Newton dispute had serious consequences, how ideas changed in about seventy years, and the important role that was played by the LMS in this process.' Adhemar Bultheel, European Mathematical Society

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    Product details

    • Date Published: April 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107124134
    • length: 276 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 157 x 16 mm
    • weight: 0.59kg
    • contains: 12 b/w illus. 1 colour illus. 1 table
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Notes for the reader
    1. Setting the scene
    2. The legacy of Newton
    3. The London Mathematical Society
    4. The pure mathematician as hero
    5. Mathematicians in an aethereal world
    6. Apologias for pure mathematicians
    7. Embracing beauty
    8. Epilogue

  • Author

    John Heard
    John Heard is an independent researcher with a doctorate in the history of science from Imperial College London. He is also a member of the British Society for the History of Science, the British Society for the History of Mathematics, and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales.

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