The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science

Richard Holmes


A riveting background of the boys and ladies whose discoveries and innovations on the finish of the eighteenth century gave start to the Romantic Age of technological know-how.

When younger Joseph Banks stepped onto a Tahitian seashore in 1769, he was hoping to find Paradise. encouraged through the medical ferment sweeping via Britain, the botanist had sailed with Captain cook dinner on his first Endeavour voyage looking for new worlds. different voyages of discovery—astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical—swiftly keep on with in Richard Holmes’s unique evocation of what really emerges as an Age of ask yourself.

Brilliantly conceived as a relay of medical tales, The Age of Wonder investigates the earliest principles of deep time and house, and the explorers of “dynamic science,” of an unlimited, mysterious Nature ready to be came upon. 3 lives dominate the ebook: William Herschel and his sister Caroline, whose commitment to the examine of the celebrities eternally replaced the general public notion of the sun process, the Milky approach, and the that means of the universe; and Humphry Davy, who, with just a grammar university schooling surprised the clinical neighborhood together with his near-suicidal gasoline experiments that resulted in the discovery of the miners’ lamp and proven British chemistry because the top specialist technology in Europe. This age of exploration prolonged to nice writers and poets in addition to scientists, all creators relishing in moments of excessive excitement, boundary-pushing and discovery.

Holmes’s awesome evocation of this age of ask yourself indicates how nice rules and experiments—both successes and failures—were born of singular and sometimes lonely commitment, and the way spiritual religion and medical fact collide. He has written a ebook breathtaking in its originality, its storytelling power, and its highbrow value.

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