Mo-ers,

Do you know how it was that the study of the Jordan canonical form began?

There are certain things that may be said once one has thought about the matter: for instance, one can say that the consideration of the Jordan canonical form of a matrix $A \in \mathbf{M}_{n \times n}(\mathbb{C})$ is valuable 'cause it facilitates certain commonplace computations related to $A$ (its powers, its exponential, etc.).

Do we know if the individual that first introduced the form in the mathematical realm (Camille Jordan? Wilhelm Jordan?) was somewhat motivated by this sort of things? Would you be so kind as to suggest a text in which one can find a very concrete, down-to-earth, and down to the nitty-gritty explanation of why the mathematician that "invented/discovered" the form did it?

On a lighter note, what's in your *Weltanschauung* the book on algebra (or rather linear algebra) that a person interested in mastering the Jordan canonical form should definitely peruse?

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