By Neal Stephenson,

Book cover of Quicksilver

Book description

Quicksilver is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Quicksilver as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

Quicksilver, Volume One of the Baroque Cycle is an amazing novel and not for those who like quick reads. At nearly 1,000 erudite pages it depicts the lives and confusions of natural philosophers between the years 1660 and 1713 at the dawn of the scientific revolution. Robert Hooke, Isaac Newton, King Charles II, and many others fill the pages with wit, history, avarice, sex, political duplicity, religious prejudice, and wars that seem to pop up by whim. 

The sheer volume of historical research evident in Quicksilver eclipses all other works of the genre. The number of “throw away” lines that…

Depending on whether you read the series in omnibus form or not, Quicksilver is the first either of three or the first of ten books by Neal Stephenson, comprising the Baroque Cycle. This is a rip-roarin’, swashbuckling adventure that also manages to be cerebral and hilarious. In the biggest picture, the cycle is the story of the transition of Europe into modernity. In its specific plot threads, the narrative embraces the dispute between Newton and Leibniz over the invention of calculus, alchemy, King Solomon’s gold, the career of John Churchill, the Royal Society, and its advances in natural philosophy, and…

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