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Nixon’s Elementary Plane Trigonometry
Jul 31, 2020

By R. C. J. Nixon, M.A., about whom the internet knows very little. In a short notice in Nature, September 22, 1892, the editors were a bit skeptical of his approach. Nixon wrote:

In the arrangement of the order of treatment, and in the details of the proofs, I have not followed, or even been guided by, any previous treatise ; but have relied on my own judgment, based on the experience gained in twenty-five years’ labour as a teacher of the subject. Exact logical accuracy of sequence and method has been everywhere aimed at; and the rule followed has been to introduce everything when, and not until, it is needed, and then to treat it completely. Of course a subject of this kind cannot be learned without studying it in books; but, in writing this work, I have had very little direct help from any books, unless it be from the two Trigonometries of the late Professor De Morgan. For the unique accuracy and thoroughness of all De Morgan’s writings I feel unbounded admiration, and to them I am largely indebted. There have lately appeared some four or five Trigonometries which, judging from their advertisements, are of an elaborate character. To avoid the possibility of being influenced by them in any way, I have avoided even looking at these; nor have I any idea what they contain or do not contain. Indeed any other course with regard to contemporaneous works seems to be quite unjustifiable. For an author to make himself acquainted with the modern books with which he is, by the nature of the case, in direct competition, may be a very ingenious way of surpassing them; but the proceeding is, to say the least, questionable.

Links to the Internet Archive’s scans of the xxxx edition:

Elements of the Differential Calculus

Editions of Elements of the Differential Calculus

1879
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1880
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1882
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1884
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1888
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1890
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1891
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1892
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1894
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1895
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1898
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1901
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