John Lodge Cowley a cartographer, geologist and mathematician born in the UK. Cowley produced charts illustrating England’s counties, which resulted in his most famous work, Counties of England. He also published many other maps with remarkable detail and his and the engraver’s names on them.
Cowley’s mathematical textbooks were extremely common in their day, widely disseminated and well used, and are now extremely rare in their entirety. In the first pages of this book, the author explains that he is interested in passing on the theories and knowledge. he is aware of the fact that he has not reached the goal of every author to expand the knowledge. He has dedicated himself to teaching. The author took advantage of the printing press invented in this era to spread his knowledge and theories so that they would not be forgotten. Printing also made the book easier to obtain and distribute. Thus, the target group was also less specialised, so it makes sense to teach them more theories in an experiential way.
With 11 full-page geometric engravings on thick parchment, 10 of which are cut-out to display solid shapes. Cowley’s Principle was developed as a geometrical primer, complete with carved diagrams that could be stripped from the book to form solids, explaining Euclid’s doctrines in the 11th, 12th, and 15th volumes.
At the beginning of the book, all his theories are listed and explained, while later they are illustrated pictorially and formally. The pictures are partially foldable, so that they allow three-dimensional shapes to be put together. Up to page 139, the book consists solely of his theory, which he tries to make the reader understand, and the rest of the book, from page 143 onwards, consists of the previously mentioned pictures. To show it with an example, we see that on page 95 it is written about figure 9 on plate 8 and this is shown accordingly. The text begins by explaining to the reader how to build up the figures. After the structure is explained, there is a general commentary on the respective figure and its mathematical principles. This is followed by further follow-up sentences. The images and forms listed make it easier for the reader to understand the author’s complex theories, so that they can be applied later in other works. Thus, the author has a considerable influence on the future works of his readers.
It is a very unusual book for the time and has accordingly become famous for it.
Keywords: structure, interaction, influence