ISAAC NEWTONSir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1727 by the Juliancalendar in use in England at the time; or 4 January 1643 – 31 March 1727by the Gregorian calendar) was an English physicist, mathematician,astronomer, philosopher, and alchemist; who wrote the PhilosophiaeNaturalis Principia Mathematica (published 5 July 1687), where hedescribed universal gravitation and, via his laws of motion, laid thegroundwork for classical mechanics. Newton also shares credit withGottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for the development of differential calculus.However, their work was not a collaboration; they both discovered calculusseparately but nearly contemporaneously.Newton was the first to promulgate a set of natural laws that could governboth terrestrial (earthly) motion and celestial motion. He is associated withthe scientific revolution and the advancement of heliocentrism. Newton isalso credited with providing mathematical substantiation for Keplers laws of planetary motion. Hewould expand these laws by arguing that orbits (such as those of comets) were not only elliptic; butcould also be hyperbolic and parabolic.He is also notable for his arguments that light was composed of particles. He was the first to realisethat the spectrum of colours observed when white light was passed through a prism was inherent inthe white light, and not added by the prism as Roger Bacon had claimed in the 13th century.Newton also developed Newtons law of cooling, describing the rate of cooling of objects whenexposed to air; the binomial theorem in its entirety; and the principles of conservation of momentumand angular momentum. Finally, he studied the speed of sound in air, and voiced a theory of theorigin of stars.Charles DickensCharles John Huffam Dickens (February 7, 1812 - June 9, 1870),pen-name "Boz", was an English novelist of the Victorian era.The popularity of his books during his lifetime and to the present isdemonstrated by the fact that none of his novels have ever goneout of print.Dickens writing style is florid and poetic, with a strong comic touch.His satires of British aristocratic snobbery — he calls one characterthe "Noble Refrigerator" — are wickedly funny. Comparing orphansto stocks and shares, people to tug boats, or dinner party guests tofurniture are just some of Dickens flights of fancy which sum upsituations better than any simple description could.The characters themselves are amongst some of the most memorable in English literature.Certainly their names are. The likes of Ebenezer Scrooge, Fagin, Mrs. Gamp, Micawber, Pecksniff,Miss Havisham, Wackford Squeers and many others are so well known they can easily be believedto be living a life outside the novels, but their eccentricities do not overshadow the stories. Some ofthese characters are grotesques; he loved the style of 18th century gothic romance, though it hadalready become a bit of a joke.One character most vividly drawn throughout his novels is London itself. From the coaching inns onthe out-skirts of the city to the lower reaches of the Thames, all aspects of the capital are describedby someone who truly loved London and spent many hours walking its streets.
Most of Dickens major novels were first written in monthly or weekly installments in journals suchas Household Words and later collected into the full novels we are familiar with today. Theseinstallments made the stories cheap and more accessible and the series of cliff-hangers everymonth made each new episode more widely anticipated. Part of Dickens great talent was toincorporate this episodic writing style but still end up with a coherent novel at the end. The monthlynumbers were illustrated by, amongst others, "Phiz" (a pseudonym for Hablot Browne).Among his best-known works are Great Expectations, David Copperfield, Oliver Twist, NicholasNickleby, A Tale of Two Cities, and A Christmas Carol. David Copperfield is argued by some to behis best novel — it is certainly his most autobiographical. However, Little Dorrit, a masterpiece ofacerbic satire masquerading as a rags-to-riches story, is on a par with the very best of JonathanSwift and should not be overlooked.Dickens novels were, among other things, works of social commentary. He was a fierce critic of thepoverty and social stratification of Victorian society. Throughout his works, Dickens retained anempathy for the common man and a skepticism for the fine folk.Dickens was fascinated by the theatre as an escape from the world, and theatres and theatricalpeople appear in Nicholas Nickleby. Dickens himself had a flourishing career as a performer,reading scenes from his works. He travelled widely in Britain and America on stage tours.Much of Dickens writing seems sentimental today, like the death of Little Nell in The Old CuriosityShop. Even where the leading characters are sentimental, as in Bleak House, the many othercolourful characters and events, the satire and subplots, reward the reader. Another criticism of hiswriting is the unrealistic and unlikeliness of his plots. This is true but much of the time he was notaiming for realism but for entertainment and to recapture the picaresque and gothic novels of hisyouth. When he did attempt realism his novels were often unsuccessful and unpopular. The factthat his own life story of happiness, then poverty, then an unexpected inheritance, and finallyinternational fame was unlikely shows that unlikely stories are not necessarily unrealistic.All authors incorporate autobiographical elements in their fiction, but with Dickens this is verynoticeable, particularly as he took pains to cover up what he considered his shameful, lowly past.The scenes from Bleak House of interminable court cases and legal arguments could only comefrom a journalist who has had to report them. Dickens own family was sent to prison for poverty, acommon theme in many of his books, in particular the Marshalsea in Little Dorrit. Little Nell in TheOld Curiosity Shop is thought to represent Dickens sister-in-law, Nicholas Nicklebys father iscertainly Dickens own father and the snobbish nature of Pip from Great Expectations is similar tothe author himself.At least 180 movies and TV adaptations have been based on Dickens works.