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© 2011

Robert Recorde

Tudor Polymath, Expositor and Practitioner of Computation

  • Presents an authoritative and in-depth analysis of the man, his achievements and his historical importance

  • Discusses the greater significance and broader scope of Recorde’s work

  • Covers aspects of Recorde’s life overlooked in other studies

Book

Part of the History of Computing book series (HC)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxiii
  2. ‘Profite and Commoditie’: The Practitioners

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Jack Williams
      Pages 1-9
  3. 'Profite and Commoditie': The Practitioners

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 11-11
    2. Jack Williams
      Pages 13-14
    3. Jack Williams
      Pages 35-52
    4. Jack Williams
      Pages 53-64
  4. Intrinsic Worth

  5. Finale

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 229-229
    2. Jack Williams
      Pages 231-253
    3. Jack Williams
      Pages 255-259
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 261-265

About this book

Introduction

The 16th-Century intellectual Robert Recorde is chiefly remembered for introducing the equals sign into algebra, yet the greater significance and broader scope of his work is often overlooked.

Robert Recorde: Tudor Polymath, Expositor and Practitioner of Computation presents an authoritative and in-depth analysis of the man, his achievements and his historical importance. This scholarly yet accessible work examines the latest evidence on all aspects of Recorde’s life, throwing new light on a character deserving of greater recognition.

Topics and features:

  • Presents a concise chronology of Recorde’s life
  • Examines his published works; The Grounde of Artes, The Pathway to Knowledge, The Castle of Knowledge, and The Whetstone of Witte
  • Describes Recorde’s professional activities in the minting of money and the mining of silver, as well as his dispute with William Herbert, Earl of Pembroke
  • Investigates Recorde’s work as a physician, his linguistic and antiquarian interests, and his religious beliefs
  • Discusses the influence of Recorde’s publisher, Reyner Wolfe, in his life
  • Reviews his legacy to 17th-Century science, and to modern computer science and mathematics

This fascinating insight into a much under-appreciated figure is a must-read for researchers interested in the history of computer science and mathematics, and for scholars of renaissance studies, as well as for the general reader.

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.OxfordUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

Reviews

From the reviews:

“This volume primarily consists of a very detailed examination of Recorde’s four major mathematical books. … For the graduate student in the history of mathematics, this thorough and detailed work would be valuable.” (M. D. Derk, ACM Computing Reviews, March, 2012)

“This book fills a gap in historical biography that has existed for far too long. … The majority of the chapters describe Recorde’s life and career, but four are devoted to the description and analysis of his four mathematical works … for which he is most famous. … an excellent book. I can recommend it.” (John Denniss, The Mathematical Association of America, April, 2012)