The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes audiobook

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

By Richard Holmes
Read by Gildart Jackson

Blackstone Publishing
21.40 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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The Age of Wonder is a colorful and utterly absorbing 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 in search of new worlds. Other voyages of discovery—astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical—swiftly follow in Richard Holmes’ thrilling evocation of the second scientific revolution. Through the lives of William Herschel and his sister, Caroline, who forever changed the public conception of the solar system; of Humphry Davy, whose near-suicidal gas experiments revolutionized chemistry; and of the great romantic writers, from Mary Shelley to Coleridge and Keats, who were inspired by the scientific breakthroughs of their day, Holmes brings to life the era in which we first realized both the awe-inspiring and the frightening possibilities of science—an era whose consequences are with us still.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

Winner of the 2009 National Book Critics Circle Award for General Nonfiction

A 2009 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for History

A 2009 New York Times Best Book for Nonfiction

A 2009 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year

A 2009 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

A 2009 Publishers Weekly Top 10 Book for Nonfiction

A 2009 ALA Notable Book for Nonfiction

The Age of Wonder is a colorful and utterly absorbing 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 in search of new worlds. Other voyages of discovery—astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical—swiftly follow in Richard Holmes’ thrilling evocation of the second scientific revolution. Through the lives of William Herschel and his sister, Caroline, who forever changed the public conception of the solar system; of Humphry Davy, whose near-suicidal gas experiments revolutionized chemistry; and of the great romantic writers, from Mary Shelley to Coleridge and Keats, who were inspired by the scientific breakthroughs of their day, Holmes brings to life the era in which we first realized both the awe-inspiring and the frightening possibilities of science—an era whose consequences are with us still.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In this big two-hearted river of a book, the twin energies of scientific curiosity and poetic invention pulsate on every page.” New York Times Book Review
“[An] amazingly ambitious, buoyant new fusion of history, art, science, philosophy, and biography…Holmes’ excitement at fusing long-familiar events and personages into something startlingly new is not unlike the exuberance of the age that animates his groundbreaking book.” New York Times
“Holmes’ enthralling book itself exemplifies those qualities fostered by a scientific culture: the sense of individual wonder, the power of hope, and the vivid but questing belief in a future for the globe.” Washington Post
“Holmes is certainly the man to undertake this intellectual salvage operation…Ambitious…Eloquent.” Wall Street Journal
“A new model for scientific exploration and poetic expression in the Romantic period. Informative and invigorating, generous and beguiling, it is, indeed, wonderful.” Guardian
“What’s superlative about The Age of Wonder is that Holmes, author of vivid biographies of Shelley and Coleridge, takes the air out of the terms ‘subjectivity’ and ‘objectivity’ and reveals the ways in which the artists were as enveloped in science as the men and women in the labs around them. In a harmony of scientific and artistic sensibilities, he shows, the Romantics tapped the marvels of nature and sounded the infinite benefits of science. It’s a song, if we can hear it, that can transform us today.” Salon
“If, like me, you didn’t study much science after high school, this absorbing narrative will make you appreciate the gravity of your mistake…Reading it made we want to do college over, this time as a history of science major.” Slate, Best Books of 2009
“Richard Holmes—who is almost unfairly gifted both as a writer of living, luminous prose and as a tireless researcher—braids Herschel’s story together with a dozen others to create the most joyful, exciting book of the year.” Time, The Top 10 Everything of 2009
“It was a singular time, and this is a singular book.” Fortune
“The Age of Wonder is the long-awaited fermentation of the author’s knowledge of the Romantic poets and his lifelong fascination with science.” Economist
“For Holmes to bring those people back to life is a great achievement…This is the finest history of science book I’ve come across.” Physics Today
“Holmes pursues his many-chambered nautilus of a tale with energy and great rigor, unearthing many lives and assembling remnant shards of biography, history, science, and literary criticism.” Christian Science Monitor
“Rich in human foibles and thrills.” Cleveland Plain Dealer
“Captivating…An engrossing portrait of scientists as passionate adventurers, boldly laying claim to the intellectual leadership of society.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Richard Holmes

Author Bio: Richard Holmes

Richard Holmes is the author of Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer; Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer; Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage; Shelley: The Pursuit (for which he received the Somerset Maugham Award); Coleridge: Early Visions; and Coleridge: Darker Reflections (a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist). He lives in England.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 21.40
Audience: Adult
Language: English