Posted on November 12, 2020 at 3:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

You might imagine that Isaac Newton’s Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy appealed to a fairly niche audience.

And you’re still not wrong — but the New York Times reports that scholars are finding a larger and more varied distribution of the book, most commonly known as the Principia (for its Latin title).

Two scholars have discovered nearly 200 more first-edition copies, bringing the total known up to 386 worldwide.

That leads them to estimate, according to the NY Times, that the first edition produced at least 600 copies and as many as 750, possibly.

As evidence for how far it spread, the scholars cite notes in the books themselves and library records that follow the books’ movements.

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Categories: Today in Books

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