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Tudor Scholar and Mathematician
This enthralling biography tells the complete story of one of Tudor England's most enigmatic figures. A Welshman born in Tenby, south Wales, c.1512, Robert Recorde was educated at both Oxford and Cambridge. This book, a detailed biography of this Tudor scholar, reviews the many facets of his astonishingly wide-ranging career and ultimately tragic life. It presents a richly detailed and fully rounded picture of Recorde the man, the university academic and theologian, the physician, the mathematician and astronomer, the antiquarian, and the writer of hugely successful textbooks. Crown appointments brought Recorde into conflict with the scheming Earl of Pembroke, and eventually set him at odds with Queen Mary I. As an intellectual out of his depth in political intrigue, beset by religious turmoil, Recorde eventually succumbed to the dangers that closed inexorably around him.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
"Robert Recorde was not only was the author of one of the most popular textbooks of arithmetic of all time, but he was also a medical doctor, a surveyor of mines, an antiquarian, a poet, and someone deeply involved in the religious controversies that plagued England under the Tudors. Roberts does justice to all these aspects of Recorde's career, and he draws a rich and convincing portrait of the society in which Recorde grew up in Wales, as well as the atmosphere of Oxford and Cambridge where he studied, and of London, which became his home later in life."--MathSciNet "A Welsh scholar of great influence, the Tudor mathematics educator Robert Recorde holds a permanent place in the history of mathematics as the inventor of the equals sign. . . . He was also a physician, a poet, and surveyor of mines and monies who was prosecuted for libel and ended his life in prison. This engagingly written book presents the ups and downs of Recorde's eventful life with great clarity."
--Robin Wilson, The Open University "Roberts's new biography of Robert Recorde is a wonderfully readable account of this fascinating Tudor scientist, his difficult career in times of religious and political dangers, and his innovative and remarkably entertaining textbooks. It provides context to help the reader fully appreciate the work of this important pioneer of mathematics education."
--Tony Mann, Director, University of Greenwich