trilogy of large novels by Neal Stephenson: Quick Silver, The Confusion, The System Of The World https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Baroque_Cycle. Basically takes place over the lifetime of Isaac Newton (1642-1727), and he is sometimes a major character in the books. (Though large sections go without a mention of him.)
- There was a lot of turnover in control of Great Britain during this time. It's rather confusing keeping straight the various cross-breeding factions.
Other historical Natural Philosophy characters: Isaac Newton, John Wilkins, Robert Hooke, John Locke, Gottfried Leibniz, Christopher Wren...
- it's interesting how many of these people had significant Big Government roles
Some topics: Alchemy (Magick), the English Revolution, the Royal Society Of London, Pirates, Watered Steel, Money, the Ottoman Empire....
kinda prequel to Cryptonomicon: characters/families: Enoch Root, Waterhouse, etc.
Reminds me of Robert Anton Wilson's Historical Illuminatus Chronicles series.
Here's a list of MetaWeb annotations by page for Quick Silver
Historical novels frustrate me in making me always wonder how much is "accurate" and how much is fiction. Or even which characters are real.
Sept23'2004 - hey, the System Of The World is out!