This book 3 of the Baroque Cycle follows the paths of the two fictional characters, Dr. Daniel Waterhouse and Eliza. Readers of the Baroque Cycle were previously introduced to Waterhouse in book 1 and Eliza in book 2. In this story they manage to encounter most of the leading historical figures of the day.
The story begins in 1685 with Dr. Waterhouse present at the death of King Charles II. Tension in England then rises because the new King, James II, has Catholic preferences and the core of English sentiments are Protestant.
Meanwhile on the Continent, Eliza is deep in the world of spies, counter spies and finance. She is a confidante of William of Orange (Holland) and Louie IV (France). Her adventures included witnessing the attempted kidnapping of William of Orange. Her travels also witnessed the beginning of French preparations for the invasion of Lorraine that signaled reduced pressure on the Netherlands. This allowed William of Orange to make his move on England that resulted in the so called Glorious Revolution of England.
The story includes descriptions of the advances in natural philosophy. Included are descriptions of the tensions between Leibnetz and Newton, development of calculus, development of the laws of gravity, and the development of the field of dynamics in physics.
The following quotation is an example of colorful and descriptive writing that caught my eye:...he was one of those blokes who used peripheral vision for everything. Give him a spyglass, he'd raise it to his ear, and see as much as Galileo. His nose had been broken at least twice and he'd endured a blowout fracture of the left eye-socket, which made it seem as if his face were a clay effigy squirting out between the fingers of a clenching fist.LINK TO
Wikipedia article about the Baroque Cycle by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO
my review of Quick Silver (Bk. 1) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO
my review of King of the Vagabonds (Bk. 2) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO
my review of The Confusion (Bks. 4 & 5) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO
my review of Solomon's Gold (Bk. 6) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO
my review of Currency (Bk. 7) by Neal Stephenson.LINK TO
my review of System of the World (Bk. 8) by Neal Stephenson.