Memoirs of John Napier of Merchistoun, his lineage, life and times, with a history of the invention of logarithms by Mark Napier

Selected pages from a biography of John Napier's life with a history of the invention of logarithms.

Date: Published in 1834.

Mark Napier's book about John Napier was published by Blackwood in Edinburgh in 1834.

The author dedicated it to King William IV, and presented as 'the domestic history of the inventor of logarithms':

'That his invention was the greatest boon genius could bestow upon a maritime empire is a truth universally felt,' he writes.

Opposite the title page, the frontispiece features a portrait of Napier 'from the original presented by the Baroness Napier to the College of Edinburgh'.

The biography includes information about Napier's lineage and his family. In one chapter, the biographer compares Napier with Sir Isaac Newton and 'other modern writers on prophecy'. Another chapter deals with Napier's letter to King James VI 'urging reform of Church and State'.

Among subjects covering on the pages reproduced here are:

- The non-completion of Napier's studies at St Andrews University
- How Napier initially concealed his invention
- Various scientific disciplines to which logarithms can be applied.

The history of the invention of logarithms starts on page 435.