Reading Mathematics in Early Modern Europe

Studies in the Production, Collection, and Use of Mathematical Books

Edited by Philip Beeley, Yelda Nasifoglu and Benjamin Wardhaugh

Libraries and archives contain many thousands of early modern mathematical books, of which almost equally many bear readers’ marks, ranging from deliberate annotations and accidental blots to corrections and underlinings. Such evidence provides us with the material and intellectual tools for exploring the nature of mathematical reading and the ways in which mathematics was disseminated and assimilated across different social milieus in the early centuries of print culture. Other evidence is important, too, as the case studies collected in the volume document. Scholarly correspondence can help us understand the motives and difficulties in producing new printed texts, library catalogues can illuminate collection practices, while manuscripts can teach us more about textual traditions. By defining and illuminating the distinctive world of early modern mathematical reading, the volume seeks to close the gap between the history of mathematics as a history of texts and history of mathematics as part of the broader history of human culture.


‘This volume meets the highest standards for an academic publication, whilst remaining very accessible for the general reader. This book should definitely be read by all those interested in the history of mathematics in the Early Modern Period and in fact by anybody interested in the history of mathematics.’ Thony Christie, The Renaissance Mathematicus

Reading Mathematics is published by Routledge.