Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, groots in het kleine
Antoni van Leeuwenhoek: Master of the Minuscule presents an engaging and copiously illustrated biography in a format which should suit a wide audience and age range.
The authors have found a good balance for the level of depth presented without becoming a dry read. The reproduction of the illustrations is to a high standard, presented on bright white paper and incorporated into the body of the text rather than as separate plates. Together with an attractive hardback cover it is a book that is inviting to read.
Many of the photomicrographs used in the book have been taken by Dr Robertson using replica microscopes made by Hans Loncke with ground biconvex lenses, including one with a magnification of 303×. A number of the images are stills from her award winning video shared on YouTube '. I know from my own studies with replicas with only 80-100× lenses that such photomicrography of living subjects is challenging.
The authors successfully present imagery (including darkfield) which provides an insight into the sort of views Van Leeuwenhoek may have seen, rather than use modern microscopes and techniques.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading the book and it deserves a wide audience for those wishing to learn more of Van Leeuwenhoek's life and work.
David Walker, microscopy-uk.org,
8 juni 2016