In a world of chaos and disease, one group of driven, idiosyncratic geniuses envisioned a universe that ran like clockwork. They were the Royal Society, the men who made the modern world. At the end of the seventeenth century, sickness was divine punishment, astronomy and astrology were indistinguishable, and the world's most brilliant, ambitious, and curious scientists were tormented by contradiction. They believed in angels, devils, and alchemy yet also believed that the universe followed precise mathematical laws that were as intricate and perfectly regulated as the mechanisms of a great clock. "The Clockwork Universe" captures these monolithic thinkers as they wrestled with nature's most sweeping mysteries. Award-winning writer Edward Dolnick illuminates the fascinating personalities of Newton, Leibniz, Kepler, and others, and vividly animates their momentous struggle during an era when little was known and everything was new--battles of will, faith, and intellect that would change the course of history itself.