Sarah Dry, The Newton Papers: The Strange and True Odyssey of Isaac Newton’s Manuscripts. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014, xi + 238 pages. $29.95
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When A. Rupert Hall and Marie Boas Hall published their edition of Newton’s unpublished scientific papers in 1962, they lamented that there was little promise that England would ever honor the memory of its finest intellect in the way that other countries had done. While there were proud national editions of the works of Galileo Galilei or Christiaan Huygens, the edited papers of Newton were to all intents and purposes no more than membra disjuncta. No complete edition of his writings was so much as contemplated, and the task fell to scholars to produce volumes such as their own in order in some way to fill the gap.
The editors of the Unpublished Scientific Papers of Isaac Newtonmight also have mentioned the major project to produce a philological-critical edition of all the extant letters and papers of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, which at the time was slowly getting back on track after interruptions caused by two world wars. That project had been initiated by the Association...