Clare Dudman was born in North Wales and educated at Leicestershire comprehensive schools, the University of Durham and King’s College London. She has a PhD in Chemistry and has worked as a postdoctoral Research Associate in UMIST, a development scientist in industry, a science teacher, a lecturer and as a creative writing tutor for the WEA and the MA in creative writing at University College Chester. She is a member of the Welsh Academy.
In 1995 her children’s novel EDGE OF DANGER won the Kathleen Fidler award and in 2001 an excerpt from WEGENER’S JIGSAW won an Arts Council of England Writers award. This enabled her to travel to north west Greenland, Denmark and Germany to research for the novel. Her research for 98 REASONS FOR BEING involved several visits to Frankfurt, a journey to Heidelberg and some interesting excursions to local medical establishments in the UK for an in-depth examination of leeches and old operating theatres.
In his lifetime Alfred Wegener was a German meteorologist who was better known for his offbeat scientific adventures than for his now famous theory of continental drift. In this lushly imagined and beautifully written novel, Clare Dudman charts his life from his birth in 1880 to his last daring Arctic exploration in 1930. Dudman vividly chronicles the key episodes that punctuated his life, such as his 1906 record-setting long-distance balloon flight; his several expeditions to Greenland; his passionate love for his long-suffering wife; his investigations into meteorites, lunar craters, and the formation of raindrops; and his horrific experiences in the trenches of World War I. Dudman also tells of his struggle to defend his theories, a struggle that forced him to leave all that he loved to make one final, fateful, expedition to Greenland at the age of forty-nine.
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