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A Textbook Fit for a Princess By: Melissa Barrick Hood College Frederick, MD

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Leonhard Euler 1707-1783

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Princess Charlotte Ludovica Luisa Born in 1745 in Berlin Second Cousin of Frederick the Great Daughter of Margrave Friedrich Heinrich von Brandenburg-Schwedt klavier

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The First Letter April 19, 1760

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Of Magnitude, or Extension Units of Measure Distance Problems The distance from Berlin to Magdeburg is 83 miles or 438,240 feet.

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Of Magnitude, or Extension The distance from earth to the sun is 95,568,000 miles or 12,000 diameters of the earth “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.”

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Of the Perfection of Language Propositions: 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

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Syllogisms Let A represent trees and B represent oaks.

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Euler Diagrams

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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 gentlemen.” July 18, 1761

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The Future of the Letters

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Dibner Library, Smithsonian Institute

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A Worldwide Text The textbook was published in many languages: French (12 editions) Russian (4 editions) English (9 editions) German (6 editions) Italian, Dutch, Spanish

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The First English Translation Translated by the Rev. Dr. Henry Hunter 1802 2 volumes

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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 mentioned.”

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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.”

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Another English Edition 1833 David Brewster Notes Biography of Euler John Griscom Glossary

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American School Library

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The Letters in 2007 Libraries and Rare Book Collections Library of Congress Smithsonian Institute American School Library Google Books

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Acknowledgements 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

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References 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 1802. 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.

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