Housekeeping and another review or two
This week I’m moving from my home of the last fifteen years to the money pit made infamous in this post. (Though I have to say the honey was the best I’ve ever had…)
It’s a complete madhouse, as I’m sure anyone who’s ever moved with more than a year or two’s accumulation of stuff and inertia knows. Plus, the sale of our current house is a tale told by an idiot…..
All of which is to say very light blogging this week.
But I wouldn’t be doing my duty as a relentless self-promoter if I didn’t mention the fact that Newton and the Counterfeiter (Amazon, Powells, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound) is (a) approaching its British publication date (pre-order here) and (b) has garnered a ton of unmentioned but much appreciated notice over the last couple of weeks.
I really, really have something to say about the pain of the transition from a centrally dominated, print based book reviewing world to a diffuse web based one in my next and much promised-and-delayed Diary of a Trade Book entry. And in that next entry or two, I’ll try to capture all of the folks who have had something nice to say about the book. But for now, let me point to my new blog BFF, Renaissance Mathematicus, who did me the honor of a very thoughtful two part review, first all praise, second an engaged serious criticism of what RM sees as problematical about my book — and the first two major British newspaper reviews, from The Financial Times and The Sunday Times.
Money quote from the FT:
A vivid portrait of the seamier side of the City three centuries ago, Levenson’s book is a gripping tale of unrelenting revenge and obsession.
And from Murdoch’s entry:
Levenson’s wonderful book has a humbling coda. Newton became rich, established, lauded. He had depicted his God as “a being incorporeal, living and intelligent, who sees the things themselves intimately, and thoroughly perceives them” — a figure not unlike a scientist. But then came old age, and an unprecedented failure of judgment. Tempted into the South Sea investment bubble of the 1720s, Newton lost a small fortune. Even the most radical of thinkers and dogged of rationalists, it seems, could not foresee how greed and deception might lead to the collapse of markets.
More to come, on Newton and everything else, when every pore no longer smells of cardboard and fresh paint — and perhaps (I hope) sooner than that.