Richard Hamblyn The Invention of Clouds

ISBN 13 : 9780330391955

The Invention of Clouds

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9780330391955: The Invention of Clouds

A book about art, literature, science -- and meteorology

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Review :

British science writer Richard Hamblyn skillfully blends biography with scientific and cultural history to capture for modern readers the remarkable achievement of Luke Howard (1772-1864), the quiet Quaker whose classification of cloud types we still employ today. "Cirrus," "cumulus," and "stratus" now seem almost self-evident descriptions, but when Howard gave his epochal lecture at London's Askesian Society in 1802, the bewildering variety of clouds was more obvious than anything else. Howard's great achievement, writes Hamblyn with characteristic elegance, was "the penetrating insight that clouds have many individual shapes but few basic forms." His graceful résumé of meteorology from the time of the ancient Chinese shows just how difficult generations of scientists found it to make sense of clouds, which frequently served as a metaphor for the awesome complexity of the natural world. Hamblyn's marvelous portrait of English cultural life at the turn of the 19th century reminds us how enthralled the general public was by scientific lectures and demonstrations, which served as a form of popular entertainment as well as a valuable tool in the dissemination of knowledge. "People cheered at lectures," he notes, and young men like Howard, a pharmacist by trade, "refused to allow the circumstances in which they found themselves to deflect them from [a] heroic sense of destiny." This was the great age of amateur scientists, many of them Dissenters like Howard whose religious unorthodoxy barred them from government service and aristocratic clubs. They forged their own place in England's burgeoning industries and in the scientific revolution unleashed by Isaac Newton. Howard, a devoted husband and father active in educational work and the antislavery movement, was representative of the remarkable autodidacts who reshaped European culture. Their work "served the equal demands of pleasure, instruction, and imagination," states Hamblyn, whose delightful book fulfills the same admirable purpose. --Wendy Smith

About the Author :

Richard Hamblyn was born in 1965 and is a graduate of the universities of Essex and of Cambridge, where he wrote a doctoral dissertation on the early history of geology in Britain. The Invention of Clouds, his first book, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize; his second book, Terra: Tales of the Earth explores the human consequences of natural disasters. Hamblyn lives and works in London.

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Richard Hamblyn
Edité par Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom (2002)
ISBN 10 : 033039195X ISBN 13 : 9780330391955
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Description du livre Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. An extraordinary yet little-known scientific advance occurred in the opening years of the nineteenth century when a young amateur meteorologist, Luke Howard, gave the clouds the names by which they are known to this day. By creating a language to define structures that had, up to then, been considered random and unknowable, Howard revolutionized the science of meteorology and earned the admiration of his leading contemporaries in art, literature and science. Richard Hamblyn charts Howard s life from obscurity to international fame, and back to obscurity once more. He recreates the period s intoxicating atmosphere of scientific discovery, and shows how this provided inspiration for figures such as Goethe, Shelley and Constable. Offering rich insights into the nature of celebrity, the close relationship between the sciences and the arts, and the excitement generated by new ideas, The Invention of Clouds is an enthralling work of social and scientific history. N° de réf. du libraire AA79780330391955

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Richard Hamblyn
Edité par Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom (2002)
ISBN 10 : 033039195X ISBN 13 : 9780330391955
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Description du livre Pan MacMillan, United Kingdom, 2002. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. An extraordinary yet little-known scientific advance occurred in the opening years of the nineteenth century when a young amateur meteorologist, Luke Howard, gave the clouds the names by which they are known to this day. By creating a language to define structures that had, up to then, been considered random and unknowable, Howard revolutionized the science of meteorology and earned the admiration of his leading contemporaries in art, literature and science. Richard Hamblyn charts Howard s life from obscurity to international fame, and back to obscurity once more. He recreates the period s intoxicating atmosphere of scientific discovery, and shows how this provided inspiration for figures such as Goethe, Shelley and Constable. Offering rich insights into the nature of celebrity, the close relationship between the sciences and the arts, and the excitement generated by new ideas, The Invention of Clouds is an enthralling work of social and scientific history. N° de réf. du libraire AA79780330391955

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Description du livre Macmillan 2010-06-04, London, 2010. paperback. État : New. N° de réf. du libraire 9780330391955

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Description du livre Pan Macmillan. Paperback. État : new. BRAND NEW, The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies, Richard Hamblyn, An extraordinary yet little-known scientific advance occurred in the opening years of the nineteenth century when a young amateur meteorologist, Luke Howard, gave the clouds the names by which they are known to this day. By creating a language to define structures that had, up to then, been considered random and unknowable, Howard revolutionized the science of meteorology and earned the admiration of his leading contemporaries in art, literature and science. Richard Hamblyn charts Howard's life from obscurity to international fame, and back to obscurity once more. He recreates the period's intoxicating atmosphere of scientific discovery, and shows how this provided inspiration for figures such as Goethe, Shelley and Constable. Offering rich insights into the nature of celebrity, the close relationship between the sciences and the arts, and the excitement generated by new ideas, "The Invention of Clouds" is an enthralling work of social and scientific history. N° de réf. du libraire B9780330391955

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Description du livre Picador, 2002. État : New. 2002. Paperback. A book about art, literature, science -- and meteorology Num Pages: 304 pages, facsimiles, portraits. BIC Classification: BGH; PDX; PDZ; WNWM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 132 x 20. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . . N° de réf. du libraire V9780330391955

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Description du livre Picador. État : New. 2002. Paperback. A book about art, literature, science -- and meteorology Num Pages: 304 pages, facsimiles, portraits. BIC Classification: BGH; PDX; PDZ; WNWM. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 197 x 132 x 20. Weight in Grams: 252. . . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. N° de réf. du libraire V9780330391955

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