Title: J.T Desaguliers - plate 30 from A Course of Experimental Philosophy (London, 1734-44)
Original Format: photograph: negative
Description: Jean Theophilus Desaguliers, a protestant refugee from France, established himself as one of the most prominent advocates of the Newtonian philosophy in the first quarter of the eighteenth century. While trying to clarify some of the theoretical aspects of Newtonianism, he also became deeply concerned with the religious, social and political implications of Newton’s work: for example, at the accession of George II in 1727 Desaguliers published a panegyric entitled The Newtonian System of the World: the best Model of Government. This image is an epitome of William Whiston’s scheme of the solar system. This supposedly conveyed the relative distances, magnitudes, periods, and other quantities involved in the motions of the planets and comets. So detailed was it that Desaguliers expressed concern that viewers might place too much faith in its accuracy.