Cover image for Newton's tyranny : the suppressed scientific discoveries of Stephen Gray and John Flamsteed
Newton's tyranny : the suppressed scientific discoveries of Stephen Gray and John Flamsteed
Clark, David H.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : W.H. Freeman and Co., 2001.
Physical Description:
xvi, 188 pages ; 19 cm
Added Author:

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Q127.G4 C55 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



One of the great figures in history, Sir Isaac Newton personifies the triumph of scientific reason over ignorance. Yet for all his contributions to the Enlightenment, Newton was a deeply complex man who sometimes aggressively tried to obscure the intellectual achievements of others of others.

Newton's Tyranny is the story of two men who felt the full wrath of the great man's hostility-the Reverend John Flamsteed, the first Astronomer Royal, and Stephen Gray, a humble dyer and amateur scientist. United not only by a love of science, but by a bitter and protracted conflict with Newton, the two men made significant contributions to science despite the observational astronomy and navigation.

Drawing upon letters and historical documents, Newton's Tyranny vividly recreates the British scientific community of the early 18th century. It was an era of great achievement, but the crucible of science was often heated by Machiavellian intrigue, uncontrollable ambition, and larger-than-life personalities. Against this dramatic setting, the saga of Newton, Flamsteed and Gray unfolds, a story of loyalty and commitment against great odds.

A fascinating look at a forgotten piece of science history, Newton's Tyranny exposes the dark side of flawed genius while celebrating the ultimate triumph of two unsung heroes.

Author Notes

Dr. David H. Clark is Director of Engineering and Science at the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. Until 1985 he led the Space Astronomy research team at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, England. Clark is also the author of The Cosmos from Space and Superstars. He lives in Oxford, England.
Stephen P. H. Clark is the son of David Clark and a postgraduate student at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge University.

Table of Contents

Preface: Strange Connectionsp. vii
Acknowledgmentsp. xv
1 The Complex Paths to Truthp. 1
2 Friends and Foesp. 29
3 The Cambridge Connectionp. 57
4 The Sacrifice to Heavenly Truthp. 85
5 The End Gamep. 115
6 Respect and Recognitionp. 143
Bibliographyp. 177
Indexp. 181