The Last of the Magicians?

Sir Isaac Newton was one of the most influential scientists of all time. At the same time, he was obsessed with alchemy and the occult. But was he “the first of the age of reason?” Or was he “the last of the magicians?” Now, for the first time in history, you can decide for yourself.

Isaac Newton: The Last Magician?

Isaac Newton: The Last Magician?
Painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller (1689)
Source: Wikimedia Commons

Isaac Newton: The Last Magician?

Earlier this month, Cambridge University announced that it hadĀ published more than 4,000 pages of Sir Isaac Newton’s work in an on-line format. The first works to be released are from the 1660s and include his college notebooks as well as his Waste Book, which he used for studying calculus while traveling abroad due to the plague.

“Anyone, wherever they are, can now see at the click of a mouse how Newton worked and how he went about developing his theories and experiments.” ~ Grant Young, Digitization Manager

Interestingly enough, several papers in the on-line collection are marked “not fit to be printed.” These handwritten instructions were added by Thomas Pellet, who was tasked with the job of going through Newton’s work after his death and determining which papers were appropriate for distribution.

Guerrilla Explorer’s Analysis

In the 1930s, the economist John Maynard Keynes acquired and studied many of Isaac Newton’sĀ papers. Later, he wrote a speech in which he opined that, “Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians.” Thanks to Cambridge University, the secrets of history’s greatest magician have finally come to light.

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