Edinburgh Review,  1 (1802–03), 457–60.

Art. XVIII. [Review of An Account of Some Cases of the Production of Colours, by Thomas Young]

[Henry P Brougham] *



Publications reviewed:

Young 1802b


Light, Heat, Chemistry, Hypothesis, Institutions, Discovery, Soceities, Periodicals

People mentioned:

Issac Newton

Institutions mentioned:

Royal Society

Publications cited:

Newton 1704

    Begins: 'We are sorry to say that Dr Young is by no means more successful in making observations and experiments, than in forming systems. The new case of colours he claims to have discovered, has been observed a thousand times; and he has only the merit of giving an absurd and contradictory explanation of it' (457). Gives a critical account of Young's observations regarding 'the coloured images which appear to surround a luminous body, when a hair is interposed near the eye', 'the colours of mixed plates', and the 'blue colour of the lower part of a candle flame' (457–59). Later comments: 'we cannot conclude our review of these articles, without entreating, for a moment, the attention of that illustrious body, which has admitted, of late years, so many paltry and unsubstantial papers into its Transactions. Great as the services are which the Royal Society has rendered to the world and valuable as the papers have been in every volume, (not less valuable, surely since the accession of the present excellent president [ i.e. Joseph Banks]), we think on the benefits which it has conferred, with feelings of warmest gratitude. We only wish that those feelings should be unmingled by any ideas of regret, from the want of selection, to which we are adverting; and that it should cease to give its countenance to such vain theories as those which we find mingled, in this volume, with a vast body of important information' (459–60).

See also:


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