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I have consistently enjoyed Philip Ball’s books. I particularly enjoy his rich writing style. I did find this book, however, difficult to engage with. The book does provide a comprehensive and detailed exploration of the mergence of scientific thinking and empirical science from the medieval period. It is largely focussed (therefore) on the 16 th and 17 th century. The cultural, religiious and individual personalities  interacting to reveal a more interesting and complex emergence of science from “Natural Magick” and curiosity (the theme of the book) is interesting and edifying.

The book’s length and detail did exceed my concentration. Perhaps, this reflects more about me and my time constraints, but it was less enjoyable than Ball’ other wonderful works.


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