The work of Copernicus famously shattered the medieval view of the universe. Here, his life is powerfully evoked in a novel that tells of a shy man, baffled by the conspiracies that rage around him and his ideas while he searches for the truth. Johannes Kepler, born in 1571, was one of the world's greatest mathematicians and astronomers. This novel brilliantly recreates his life and his drive to chart the stars and planets. In so doing, it illuminates the realities of Renaissance Europe, its harshness and its glory. "The Newton Letter" concerns a contemporary historian writing a biography of Isaac Newton. He retires to the country to finish his book, but is hampered when he becomes obsessed with Newton's nervous collapse in the summer of 1693, and with the family from whom he rents a summer cottage.