London: Longmans, Green and Co., 1870. From the Bart Auerbach Collection. 8vo. Original blue cloth, blocked in blind, spine gilt-lettered. A trifle rubbed, a couple of tiny stains, but a very good copy. Item #409220
First edition. The dedication copy, inscribed by Sylvester on the half-title to "Mathew [sic] Arnold Esq from the Author." The printed dedication to Arnold is "in grateful recognition of much valuable criticism and generous encouragement received at his hands." Sylvester (1814-1897) was one of the greatest of all British mathematicians and his achievements are covered at length in DNB. (Among a number of mathematical terms he invented are "matrix" and "graph.") From 1877 to 1883 he was professor of mathematics at Johns Hopkins University, where he founded the 'American Journal of Mathematics.' (Arnold thought briefly of joining him at the just-opened Johns Hopkins.) Sylvester had an abiding interest in the structure of English poetry and 'The Laws of Verse' is his most important published work on the subject. The book also includes an address on the nature of mathematics, and a lengthy discussion on Kant's theory of space and time. (BA).