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- "Galileo may have had a predilection for the life of an artist, yet he was essentially a man of science. He lived and breathed a new and revolutionary scientific air, and it is not possible to separate the man from his science, to ignore his work and expect to see his character in the round. Nevertheless I have tried, in this book, to keep his science in perspective and yet set him against the backcloth of his age and, above all, to trace the inexorable sequence of events that forced Galileo into his inevitable clash with the Inquisition. To do this I have made use of recent historical research that has shown not only the full extent of his scientific brilliance but, equally significant, has taken a more penetrating look at the background to the trial, the sentence, and Galileo's recantation. - Introduction."