Finally finished Lisa Jardine’s biography of Robert Hooke, which I was pointed at courtesy of the copious notes at the end of the Baroque Cycle. It was enjoyable, but in part due to knowing the general outlines thanks to Neal Stephenson’s groundwork; I’m not sure how readable it would be in isolation.

Even with the re-assessment of Hooke’s achievements that has taken place in the past few years, his story doesn’t make for optimistic reading, due to a combination of bad luck and his own personality. There’s a few good lessons in there about not promising more than you can achieve, and picking your battles, that I need to pay attention too.

Posted Sunday, January 6th, 2008 under books, history.


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