Private: Martyr of science

James Gleik’s biography of Isaac Newton is “now the biography of choice for the interested layman,” the New York Times reviewer says.

On a mostly unrelated note, my aunt was once vacationing in a small New England town with her husband. At their bed & breakfast, they shared a table one morning with a young English couple.

My uncle introduced himself, and the couple were impressed with his surname.

“That’s a fine, old English name,” the man told him.

My aunt decided to throw her maiden name into the ring.

“Ah yes,” the couple said. “Newton.” They hesitated.

My aunt smiled at them.

“The Newtons were always, you know, moving on to a new town,” the woman said.

My aunt came away with the impression that the ancestral relocations weren’t exactly voluntary.