All physicists are familiar with Hooke's law of springs, but few will know of his theory of combustion, that his Micrographia was the first book on microscopy, that his astronomical observations were some of the best seen at the time, that he contributed to the knowledge of respiration, insect flight and the properties of gases, that his work on gravitation preceded that of Newton's, that he invented the universal joint, and that he was an architect of distinction and a surveyor for the City of London after the Great Fire.
England's Leonardo is a biography of Hooke covering all aspects of his work, from his early life on the Isle of Wight through his time at Oxford University, where he became part of a group who would form the original Fellowship of the Royal Society. The author adopts a novel approach at this stage, dividing the book by chapter according to the fields of research-Physiology, Engineering, Microscopy, Astronomy, Geology, and Optics-in which Hooke applied himself. The book concludes with a chapter considering the legacy of Hooke and his impact on science.
Early Life: the Prodigy from the Isle of Wight. Breathing, Burning and Flying: Hooke's Scientific Apprenticeship. The Curator of Experiments. Microscopes and Meteorology. Hooke and the Astronomers. Medicine and Physiology. Surveyor to the City of London. A World Turned Upside Down: Hooke's Geological Ideas. A World of Mechanism. A Realm of Vibration: of Flight, Spring, Watches and Music. "A Large Window…into the Shop of Nature": Hooke and Light. From Pendulums to Planets: Experiments and the Understanding of Gravity. Friends, Mistresses, Religion and Politics: Hooke's Inner World. Death and Historical Legacy. Endnotes. Index