A Discourse Concerning Algebra: English Algebra to 1685

For historians of mathematics and those interested in the history of science, 'A Discourse Concerning Algebra' provides an new and readable account of the rise of algebra in England from the Medieval period to the later years of the 17th century. Including new research, this is the most detailed study to date of early modern English algebra, which builds on work published in 1685 by John Wallis (Savilian Professor of Geometry at Oxford) on the history of algebra. Stedall's book follows the reception and dissemination of important algebraic ideas and methods from continental Europe (especially those of Viete) and the consequent revolution in the state of English mathematics in the 17th century. The text emphasises the contribution of Wallis, but substantial reference is also provided to other important mathematicans such as Harriot, Oughtred, Pell and Brouncker.