When Lockdown and self-isolation led to Great Scientific works and literature

There were some scientists who utilised this time of pandemic that define the history of the world. Isaac Newton, Lord Bryan, John Milton and Charl

On this ailment of COVID-19 pandemic which has besieged the whole world. The government is working for its cure.

Corona is a monster & people are dying of it. that's a big anguishment. Literally, the whole world is being quarantined and in Lockdown. Govt. and doctors are taking preferable measures to cope with this problem.

Beyond this, There were Great personalities who utilised this time of Lockdown amidst these type of situation in their time of self-isolation and that led to great works of science and literature.

we all are considering quarantine and self-isolation as both reducing our productivity. Anyway, it does or it isn't. Quarantine and self-isolation need not be considered monotony. They can be a gateway to do great work.

There were some scientists who utilised this time of pandemic that define the history of the world.

Isaac Newton, Lord Bryan, John Milton and Charles Darwin used such time to add to their formidable body of work in science and literature. It was not called Lockdown in their time, but they spent long spells in isolation when medicine was not as developed as it is now.

It was the University of Cambridge where these 4 gentlemen studied, delved into its archives to collate their activities amid such periods of isolation centuries ago.


Charles Darwin: Due to his health in isolation, he wrote: "Ill-health... has saved me from the distraction of society..." (though it has annihilated several years of my life, has saved me from the distraction of society and amusement.)

Due to his chronic ill health, he suffered from a myriad of unexplained symptoms Cramps, fatigue, anxiety, Vomiting, Visual disturbances and vertigo.

By Maull&Polyblank - Likely from [1]John van Wyhe describes it as being taken around 1855 by Maull and Polyblank for the Literary and Scientific Portrait Club, about a year after Darwin completed his barnacle monographs and began working full-time on his species theory. On 27 May 1855 Darwin wrote to his friend Joseph Hooker about this portrait: "if I really have as bad an expression, as my photograph gives me, how I can have one single friend is surprising.", Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=50898


In his autobiography of 1876, He noted:

"Few persons can have lived a more retired life than we [Darwin and his wife Emma] have done. Besides short visits to the houses of relations, and occasionally to the seasides or elsewhere, we have gone nowhere."

He believed that the time of isolation in ill health helped his career. At home, he was free from the demands placed on other scientists (teaching, administrative work), and thus able to devote himself entirely to research.


Isaac newton: In 1665-56 during the Great Plague, he returned from Cambridge and spent two extended periods at his family home, Woolsthrope Manor, in rural Lincolnshire. During this time he conducted his famous Prism Experiment.

After Godfrey Kneller - http://www.newton.cam.ac.uk/art/portrait.html, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37337


Newton thrived in isolation and later described it as one of the most productive times in his life, finding the space to reflect on and develop his theories on the optic, calculus, the laws of motion and Gravity.

"Probably to his parents' displeasure, he bored a hole through his window shutters to produce a single, thin beam of light to pass through two prims, proving for the first time that prism did not create colours, but merely separated colours that were already there," the university's researcher, Alisha Matthewson_Grand, wrote.

"Indeed, Newton was so intellectually transformed by his period of isolation that later commentators have referred to his time away from Cambridge as his annus mirabilis or his 'year of wonders'."


John Milton: Spent some of his time in London, after Cambridge (as a first-year undergraduate in 1626) was hit by bubonic plague and wrote his first Latin elegy [Elegia Prima]. The work is an early example of his aptitude for verse composition, as well as his impressive flair for comedy.

He is also an author of 'Paradise Lost' and 'Aeropagitica'

By anonymous - Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5405032

A letter in verse form, the elegy was written for his closest friend, Charles Diodati, and narrates how Milton was enjoying his Unexpected period away from Cambridge while also anticipating his return to "the reedy fens of the Cam" and "the hum of the noisy school".


Lord Byron: In 1811, returning from a cholera-hit Greece, he was forced to Quarantine in Malta and wrote 'Farewell to Malta'.

He was furious at the prospect of spending 40 days in lockdown, a measure he considered to be Draconian and Unnecessary.

'Farewell to Malta' is a satirical poem attacking the island for  (among other things)'" ts smoky towns and cloudy sky" and its "cursed street of stairs".

He references his quarantine explicitly in the first verse "Adieu, Thou damned's t quarantine/That gave me a fever and the spleen!'.

By Thomas Phillips - BBC Your Paintings, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=11540297

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MAX Aniverse: When Lockdown and self-isolation led to Great Scientific works and literature
When Lockdown and self-isolation led to Great Scientific works and literature
There were some scientists who utilised this time of pandemic that define the history of the world. Isaac Newton, Lord Bryan, John Milton and Charl
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