The age of wonder
Holmes, Richard

The age of wonder

how the romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of science

Published by Pantheon Books in New York .
Written in English

About the Book

A riveting history of the men and women whose discoveries and inventions at the end of the eighteenth century gave birth to the Romantic Age of Science. When young Joseph Banks stepped onto a Tahitian beach in 1769, he hoped to discover Paradise. Inspired by the scientific ferment sweeping through Britain, the botanist had sailed with Captain Cook on his first Endeavour voyage in search of new worlds. Other voyages of discovery--astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical--swiftly follow in Richard Holmes's original evocation of what truly emerges as an Age of Wonder. Brilliantly conceived as a relay of scientific stories, The Age of Wonder investigates the earliest ideas of deep time and space, and the explorers of "dynamic science," of an infinite, mysterious Nature waiting to be discovered. Three lives dominate the book: William Herschel and his sister Caroline, whose dedication to the study of the stars forever changed the public conception of the solar system, the Milky Way, and the meaning of the universe; and Humphry Davy, who, with only a grammar school education stunned the scientific community with his near-suicidal gas experiments that led to the invention of the miners' lamp and established British chemistry as the leading professional science in Europe. This age of exploration extended to great writers and poets as well as scientists, all creators relishing in moments of high exhilaration, boundary-pushing and discovery. Holmes's extraordinary evocation of this age of wonder shows how great ideas and experiments--both successes and failures--were born of singular and often lonely dedication, and how religious faith and scientific truth collide. He has written a book breathtaking in its originality, its storytelling energy, and its intellectual significance.From the Hardcover edition.

Table of Contents

Joseph Banks in paradise
Herschel on the moon
Balloonists in heaven
Herschel among the stars
Mungo Park in Africa
Davy on the gas
Dr. Frankenstein and the soul
Davy and the lamp
Sorcerer and apprentice
Young scientists.

Edition Notes

Includes bibliographical references and index.

Classifications

Dewey Decimal Class
509.41/09033
Library of Congress
Q127.G4 H65 2009

The Physical Object

Pagination
p. cm.

ID Numbers

Open Library
OL22680046M
ISBN 13
9780375422225
LC Control Number
2008049587
OCLC/WorldCat
264044731
Library Thing
6287571
Goodreads
6005088
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History

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July 16, 2019 Edited by Clean Up Bot import existing book
August 19, 2010 Edited by IdentifierBot added LibraryThing ID
April 16, 2010 Edited by bgimpertBot Added goodreads ID.
March 22, 2010 Edited by 68.45.85.18 Edited without comment.
December 12, 2008 Created by ImportBot Imported from Library of Congress MARC record.