The Royal Society has been dedicated to scientific inquiry since the seventeenth century and has seen a long line of illustrious scientists and thinkers among its fellowship. The society's Assistant Secretary and Librarian, Charles Richard Weld (1813 1869), spent four years writing this two-volume History of the Royal Society, published in 1848, which also includes illustrations by his wife, Anne. Weld's aim was to document the 'rise, progress, and constitution' of the society. He charts how the informal meetings of like-minded men engaged in scientific pursuits in the mid-1600s developed into a prestigious society that by 1830 counted as one of the world's most influential scientific institutions. Volume 1 covers the period to 1755, describing the society's origins and key moments in its growth, with a focus on its governance, benefactors and organisation. It also contains biographies of presidents including Samuel Pepys and Isaac Newton."