William Whewell (1794-1866) was born the son of a Lancaster carpenter, but his precocious intellect soon delivered him into a different social sphere. Educated at a local grammar school, he won a scholarship to Cambridge, and began his career at Trinity College in 1812; he went on to be elected a fellow of Trinity in 1817 and Master in 1841. An acquaintance of William Wordsworth and a friend of Adam Sedgwick, his professional interests reflected a typically nineteenth-century fusion of religion and science, ethics and empiricism. Published in 1876, and written by the mathematician and fellow of St John's College, Isaac Todhunter (1820-84), this biography combines a narrative account of Whewell's life and achievements with extracts taken from his personal correspondence. Volume 2 contains a selection of his correspondence with scholars including Herschel and Lyell, revealing much about the conflicts, debates and friendships that shaped nineteenth-century academic life.