Past Meetup

The Age of Wonder (Morning Book Discussion)

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--Katie's pick, The Age of Wonder, made it to our reading list for April with 62% of our votes, so she'll have the honor of hosting/facilitating this month's book discussion. Here is what the publisher says about the book:

The Age of Wonder by Richard Homes
(2010) 476 pages

Shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and winner of the Royal Society Prize for Science Books, Richard Holmes’s dazzling portrait of the age of great scientific discovery is a groundbreaking achievement.

The book opens with Joseph Banks, botanist on Captain Cook’s first Endeavour voyage, who stepped onto a Tahitian beach in 1769 fully expecting to have located Paradise. Back in Britain, the same Romantic revolution that had inspired Banks was spurring other great thinkers on to their own voyages of artistic and scientific discovery – astronomical, chemical, poetical, philosophical – that together made up the ‘age of wonder’.

In this breathtaking group biography, Richard Holmes tells the stories of the period’s celebrated innovators and their great scientific discoveries: from telescopic sight to the miner’s lamp, and from the first balloon flight to African exploration.

"Holmes's 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." –The Washington Post

"In this big two-hearted river of a book, the twin energies of scientific curiosity and poetic invention pulsate on every page."
—The New York Times Book Review

"The Age of Wonder is the long-awaited fermentation of the author's knowledge of the Romantic poets and his lifelong fascination with science."
—The Economist

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