Monday, January 22, 2007

Trying to Get Published Part Five

The story is continued from here.

My agent, Andrew Lownie, sent the new proposal to another reader. He really liked it and most importantly, recommended that Andrew continue to try selling it. We then had a hiatus for a few months as the end of the year approached. Andrew needed to spend all his time closing deals and I had to finish my PhD.

With the new year, I am hoping that we will see some developments. The title Genesis of Science has been ditched for the more informative Before Science: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science. Any book with 'genesis' in the title sounds too much like The Holy Blood and Holy Grail material (whose authors are back in court, I hear). My wife thought God's Philosophers had a good ring and might well be appropriate for the American market. We also liked the title Newton's Giants but it is probably a bit too opaque. Newton famously said "If I have seen a little further then it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants." The giants that Newton refers to are Descartes and Robert Hooke (who wasn't very big and in dispute with Newton so the reference may be sarcastic).

Unbeknown to Newton (the remark was a commonplace in his time), it was first coined in the twelfth century by the philosopher Bernard of Chartres. This means it suits my purpose very well. Not only is Newton's debt to the natural philosophers of the Middle Ages unacknowledged, but even his most famous remark was a medieval invention.

Comments or questions? Post them at Bede's dedicated yahoo group.

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