London: Longmans, Green, 1872. 8vo. [v], vi-vii, [i], 511,  pp., plus 24 pages of publisher’s advertisements dated March, 1872. FIRST EDITION. Original blue cloth, rebacked with original spine laid down. An excellent copy with the ownership signature dated Oct. 7, 1872 on the paste-down. Item #16098
First edition. De Morgan (1806-71) was a brilliant mathematician, logician and bibliophile. The book is composed of articles first printed in the Athenaeum and edited by De Morgan's widow. The author describes the various attempts which have been made to invent a perpetual motion machine, to square the circle, and to trisect the angle. He also includes many curiosities gathered from his extensive reading. De Morgan's enormous wit, along with a rare ability to transmit his own enthusiasm to the reader, makes this book a truly remarkable collection of scientificiana.
According to Babson, "this collection of De Morgan's miscellaneous notes and reviews was published by his wife after his death. On p. 83 he doubts that Newton wrote "A treatise of the system of the world." He discusses books on Newton by Whiston, Castel, Robinson . . . and others. He advocated decimal coinage for England."