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    An image of Newton's classic.

    An image of Newton’s classic.  UPDATE: IT SOLD FOR £338,500

    A closed cover view.

    A closed cover view.

    A first edition of Sir Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (“Mathematical principles of natural philosophy”), published for the Royal Society in 1687 will highlight Sotheby’s sale of music, books and manuscripts in London on November 27.  This first issue copy of the first edition in its contemporary vellum binding is estimated at  £250,000-300,000.  The Principia explained a system of the universe that, once established, was unchallenged until the twentieth century ushered in quantum theory and the theories of relativity. It is thought that fewer than 300 copies of the first edition were printed.

    Dr David Goldthorpe of Sotheby’s commented: “This book changed man’s understanding of the universe. Newton’s Principia was the culmination of the scientific revolution, effectively ushering in the era of modern science and modern physics with its mathematical explanations of gravity and motion.  Through its legacy, the book has probably done more to shape the modern world than any other ever published. Even Einstein, whose theories of relativity eventually came to revise those of Newton’s, declared that the Principia was ‘perhaps the greatest intellectual stride that it has ever been granted to any man to make’.”

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