Irena Štěpánová in this book explores Isaac Newton’s engagement with ancient wisdom, the Hexameral tradition, Hermeticism, theology, alchemy as well as natural philosophy. In so doing, she brings together the established historiography with her own new insights. Štěpánová’s study is more than a study of Newton’s thought, for it contains a good deal of background on ancient (e.g., Hermeticism) and early modern thought (e.g., the Cambridge Platonists). She also uses the interpretative lenses of several contemporary Newton and non-Newton scholars in her work. Moreover, provides helpful summaries of Newton’s thought (e.g., his theology).
Štěpánová has provided Newton scholarship a great service in this book, not only by making her Czech-language work available in English, but bringing to the English-language reader learning on Hebraic thought, philosophy of life and Hermeticism originally published in Czech. (Abstract from the review by Stephen David Snobelen Associate Professor, History of Science and Technology Programme, University of King’s College, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, and Director of Newton Project Canada)