A Textbook Fit for a Princess

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Transcript A Textbook Fit for a Princess

A Textbook Fit for a
By: Melissa Barrick
Hood College
Frederick, MD
Leonhard Euler
Princess Charlotte
Ludovica Luisa
Born in 1745 in Berlin
 Second Cousin of
Frederick the Great
 Daughter of Margrave
Friedrich Heinrich von
The First Letter
April 19, 1760
Of Magnitude, or
Units of Measure
 Distance Problems
The distance from Berlin to
Magdeburg is 83 miles or
438,240 feet.
Of Magnitude, or
“Besides the Earth, there are
ten other similar bodies,
named planets, which
revolve round the sun; two of
them at smaller distances,
Mercury and Venus; and
eight at greater distances,
namely, Mars, Ceres, Pallas,
Juno, Vesta, Jupiter, Saturn,
and the Georgium Sidus.”
distance from earth
to the sun is 95,568,000
miles or 12,000 diameters
of the earth
Of the Perfection
of Language
Affirmative and Universal
Every A is B
Negative and Universal
No A is B
Affirmative and Particular
Some A is B
Negative and Particular
Some A is not B
February 14, 1761
Let A represent trees and
B represent oaks.
Euler Diagrams
Electrization of
Men and Animals
“It may sometimes be highly beneficial
to have the blood and humours raised to
a more lively circulation; certain
obstructions, which threaten dangerous
consequences, might thereby be
prevented; but on other occasions an
ablation too violent might prove injurious
to health. The subject certainly well
deserves the attention of medical
July 18, 1761
The Future of the Letters
A Worldwide Text
The textbook was published in many
French (12 editions)
 Russian (4 editions)
 English (9 editions)
 German (6 editions)
 Italian, Dutch, Spanish
The First English Translation
Translated by the
Rev. Dr. Henry
2 volumes
A Famous Preface
First English Translator, Henry Hunter,
wrote a famous preface
“I was mortified to reflect that the specious
and seductive productions of a Rousseau, and
the poisonous effusions of a Voltaire, should
be in the hands of so many young men, not to
say young women, to the perversion of the
understanding, and the corruption of the moral
principle, while the simple and useful
instructions of the virtuous Euler were hardly
Women’s Education
“Euler wrote these Letters for the instruction of
a young and sensible female, and in the
same view that they were written, they are
translated, namely, the improvement of the
female mind; an object of what importance
to the world! I rejoice to think I have lived to
see female education conducted on a more
liberal and enlarged plan.”
“They are now treated as rational beings, and
society is already the better for it.”
Another English Edition
 David Brewster
 Biography of Euler
John Griscom
American School Library
The Letters in 2007
Libraries and Rare Book Collections
Library of Congress
 Smithsonian Institute
American School Library
 Google Books
Hood College Summer Research Institute
 Dr. Mayfield, Hood College
 Dr. Tysdal, Hood College
 Chelsea Sprankle, Lindsey Nagy,
and Laura Printz
Pi Mu Epsilon, MD Delta Chapter
Dr. Ronald Calinger, Catholic University
Dr. Peggy Kidwell, Smithsonian Institute
Dr. Victor Katz
Dr. William Dunham
Dr. Allen Flora, Hood College
Constance Carter, Library of Congress
Kirsten Van der Veen, Dibner Library
Alexanderson, G. L. “Ars Expositionis: Euler as Writer and Teacher.” Mathematics
Magazine Nov. 1983: 274-78.
Burckhardt, J. J. “Leonhard Euler, 1707-1783” Mathematics Magazine November
1983: 261-73.
Calinger, Ronald. “Euler’s Letters to a Princess of Germany as an expression of his
mature scientific outlook.” Archive for History of Exact Sciences 1975: 211-33.
Calinger, Ronald S. and John Glaus. “Leonhard Euler 1707-1783, Switzerland’s
Foremost Scientific Expatriate.” The Euler Society.
Dunham, William. The Genius of Euler: Reflections on his Life and Work.
Mathematical Association of America, 2007.
Euler, Leonhard. Lettres à une princesse d'Allemagne sur divers sujets de physique
& de philosophie. Saint Petersburg: l’Academie Impériale des Sciences, 1768.
Euler, Leonhard. Letters of Euler on Different Subject of Physics and Philosophy
Addressed to a German Princess. Trans. Henry Hunter. London: Murray and Highley
Euler, Leonhard. Letters of Euler on Different Subject of Natural Philosophy
Addressed to a German Princess. Trans. David Brewster, John Griscom. New York:
J. & J. Harper, 1833.
Finkel, B. F. “Biography: Leonhard Euler.” The American Mathematical Monthly
December 1897: 297-302.
O’Keefe, Doris. “Publisher’s Series.” American Antiquarian Society. 2 September
2004. 17 July 2007. < http://www.americanantiquarian.org/pubseries.htm>
“The Electric Ben Franklin.” US History.org. 4 July 1995. 24 July 2007.