Readership: Readers of popular science, historical
non-fiction, and mathematics.
Benjamin Wardhaugh, All Souls College, University of Oxford
Benjamin Wardhaugh lives in Oxford. He trained in mathematics, music and history, and has taught both science to historians and history to mathematicians. He is a former Fellow of All Souls College; he now studies and writes about history, particularly its mathematical parts.
"Wardhaugh has done a brilliant job in revealing a most curious period in British life." - Steve Craggs, Northern Echo
"While the likes of Poor Robin and his pamphlets may have disappeared long ago, mathematics remains a bedrock of our society. This wonderful book goes a long way in highlighting why." - Jamie Condliffe, New Scientist
"Bring back the almanac! Wardhaugh's fascinating account of Poor Robin's Almanac persuasively reveals the power of the almanac to give mathematics a human face." - Marcus du Sautoy
1: 'Doctor Faustus's Day': Making fun Almanac day - high-class astrology - Poor Robin and his authors - mathematics and its mockers
2: 'The dismal and long expected morning': Getting it wrong The eclipse that never was - the South Sea Bubble - mathematics and its reputation - seamen's back-dated wages
3: 'Fitted to the meanest capacity': Learning it Isaac Hatch's exercises - maths at school - a gift for a maid - Ann Mohun's book
4: 'Beer, wine and malt': Using it Mathematics in your day - John Dougharty's barrel - maths and its instruments - Richard Shittler and his book
5: 'Beautifying the mind': Geometry and its effects Thomas Porcher's beautiful pages - How Descartes can change your life - geometry unbound - making yourself mad
6: 'A geometrical creation': Ordering the world The gentlemen of Spaulding - Desaguliers and his lectures - reforming the calendar - sawing up an organ
7: 'The number of sheep in Ireland': Getting it right Political arithmetic - facts, facts, facts - stacking the guineas - crossing the globe
8: 'The terrible Pons asinorum': Playing with it Comedy in the classroom - It might be you - The Ladies' Diary - the obscenometer and the death of Poor Robin