Isaac Newton’s Principia changed forever humanity’s understanding of its place in the universe – not with the traditional tools of theology or philosophy but with the seductive logic of mathematics.
But it was feisty French aristocrat Émilie du Châtelet who played a key role in bringing Newton’s revolutionary opus to a Continental audience. Together with her lover Voltaire, Émilie – a largely selftaught scholar – personified the exciting mix of science, literature, politics and philosophy that defined the Enlightenment.
A century later, in Scotland, Mary Somerville taught herself mathematics and rose from genteel poverty to become a world authority on Newtonian physics. Mary’s many books, and her charm, made her a legend in her own lifetime. Connected by their passion for mathematics, Mary and Émilie bring to life a defining period in science and politics, revealing the intimate links between the unfolding Newtonian revolution and the origins of intellectual and political liberty.
Seduced by Logic is a thriling foray into the lives of these extraordinary women – and the fascinating ideas that seduced them both.