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Educated at Swarthmore, Philip Fanning gained a scrupulous understanding of the culture of modern science during twenty years with W. H. Freeman and Company, the book-publishing arm of Scientific American. His discovery that Isaac Newton was an alchemist led him to a research project that consumed three years and resulted in this pioneering study. As he observes, "I can't help but feel that even though Newton deliberately concealed his greatest contribution to the history of thought, part of him hoped it would eventually see the light of day." Fanning is also the author of Mark Twain and Orion Clemens: Brothers, Partners, Strangers (2003). He lives in San Francisco.