"As gripping as a Conan Doyle adventure." –Harper's Magazine
"Fascinating... evokes the manic, punishing era of polar exploration."– The New York Times Book Review
"A fascinating nugget of history... Jago charts her course unerringly."–Chicago Tribune
"Jago deftly paints a historical background for some of the most important concepts in electromagnetic theory today, breathing life into [her] subject."–Scientific American
"Thrilling... if you like a Faustian fable, war, and weird science, then this is for you."-Conde Nast Traveler
From the Inside Flap
Combining popular science, biography, and arctic adventure in a book that reads lika a cross between Longitude, A Beautiful Mind
, and Into Thin Air
, Lucy Jago presents a riveting acount of the life and work of Norwegian scientist Kristian Birkeland, the visioinary who solved the mysteries of the aurora borealis.
Here is the true story of an eccentric genius held captive by the allure of celestial splendor; of brushes with death on the remote snowcapped mountains of Norway and in the unforgiving, wartorn deserts of Africa; of the rival who cheated Birkeland of a Nobel Prize; and of the brilliant discoveries Birkeland made before his suspicious death in Japan in 1917. Meticulously researched and passionately wrought, The Northern Lights
offers an enlightening account of the science behind one of nature's most spectacular displays and a revealing glimpse into the mind of one of history's most passionate and ill-fated scientists.