Portrait of Isaac Newton aged forty-six years by Godfrey Kneller.
‘Newton was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the Sumerians…
The last great mind which looked out on the visible world with the same eyes
as those who began to build our intellectual inheritance ten thousand years ago.’
‘Newton the Man’, J.M. Keynes.
Isaac Newton was born on Christmas day, 1642. At first his genius seemed more mechanical than intellectual. He constructed water works, windmills, kites and sun dials, but nurtured by the King’s School at Grantham his intellectual prowess and prodigious powers of concentration gradually became apparent. A maternal uncle intervened and had him prepared for Cambridge, to which seat of learning, young Isaac went up in 1661.
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