|Amazon Price||New from||Used from|
Amazon Exclusive: Oliver Sacks on The Age of Wonder
Oliver Sacks is the author of Musicophilia, Awakenings,The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, and many other books, for which he has received numerous awards, including the Hawthornden Prize, a Polk Award, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and lives in New York City, where he is a practicing neurologist. Read his exclusive guest review of The Age of Wonder:
I am a Richard Holmes addict. He is an incomparable biographer, but in The Age of Wonder, he rises to new heights and becomes the biographer not of a single figure, but of an entire unique period, when artist and scientist could share common aims and ambitions and a common language--and together create a "romantic," humanist science. We are once again on the brink of such an age, when science and art will come together in new and powerful ways. For this we could have no better model than the lives of William and Caroline Herschel and Humphry Davy, whose dedication and scientific inventiveness were combined with a deep sense of wonder and poetry in the universe. Only Holmes, who is so deeply versed in the people and culture of eighteenth-century science, could tell their story with such verve and resonance for our own time.
(Photo © Elena Seibert)--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Starred Review. The Romantic imagination was inspired, not alienated, by scientific advances, argues this captivating history. Holmes, author of a much-admired biography of Coleridge, focuses on prominent British scientists of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, including the astronomer William Herschel and his accomplished assistant and sister, Caroline; Humphrey Davy, a leading chemist and amateur poet; and Joseph Banks, whose journal of a youthful voyage to Tahiti was a study in sexual libertinism. Holmes's biographical approach makes his obsessive protagonists (Davy's self-experimenting with laughing gas is an epic in itself) the prototypes of the Romantic genius absorbed in a Promethean quest for knowledge. Their discoveries, he argues, helped establish a new paradigm of Romantic science that saw the universe as vast, dynamic and full of marvels and celebrated mankind's power to not just describe but transform Nature. Holmes's treatment is sketchy on the actual science and heavy on the cultural impact, with wide-ranging discussions of the 1780s ballooning craze, Mary Shelley's Frankenstein and scientific metaphors in Romantic poetry. It's an engrossing portrait of scientists as passionate adventurers, boldly laying claim to the intellectual leadership of society. Illus. (July 14)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I should qualify my view of this book with the fact that I was an amateur astronomer growing up and fell in love with telescopes and the stars and planets. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Randy Sales
Extremely informative analysis of the evolution of scientific principles and the scientists involved coupled with the provision of a wonderful understanding of the vital importance... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peter Farrell
Overall, a very enjoyable book. Far be it from me to be overly critical of such a wonderful book but the text is a bit short on the history of science with a great deal of... Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joseph Annunzio
One of the finest books in this genre. A must read for science entusiastsPublished 5 months ago by GIRIJA SUNDAR
Fascinating for anyone interested in the history of science and the intersections between artistic and scientific modes of thought.Published 6 months ago by Margaret Flaherty
so good I bought copies for friends. Encyclopedic knowledge of the work of early scientists, lucidly shared.Published 6 months ago by Rugby3
I literally couldn't put down this book! The stories about these 18th and 19th century men (and women) of science and their connections to each other and to poets like Coleridge... Read morePublished 8 months ago by Janet B. Zehr