The Sensorium of God by Stuart Clark
It is the late seventeenth century and still the movement of the planets remains a mystery despite the revolutionary work of Johannes Kepler, Galileo Galilei and Tycho Brahe almost a hundred years previously. Edmond Halley - dynamic adventurer and astronomer - seeks the help of Isaac Newton in unravelling the problem, but though obsessed with understanding the orbits of the planets, Newton has problems of his own which could undermine the essential work. The reclusive mathematician and alchemist has a guilty secret. He stole some of his ideas from Robert Hooke, and the quarrelsome experimentalist is demanding recognition. While capable of the loftiest ideals and theorising, the three men are just as quick to bicker and hold petty grudges which could derail scientific advancement. The men's lives and work clash as Europe is pushed headlong towards the Age of the Enlightenment and science is catapulted into its next seismic collision with religion.