The Invention of Nature The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science

by Andrea Wulf

eBooks of the Month Popular Science The Real World

The Invention of Nature The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science Synopsis

WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARD Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolivar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'. Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today.

The Invention of Nature The Adventures of Alexander Von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science Press Reviews

'A big, magnificent, adventurous book - so vividly written and daringly researched - a geographical pilgrimage and an intellectual epic! Brilliant, surprising, and thought-provoking ... a major achievement' RICHARD HOLMES, author of The Age of Wonder and Coleridge

'A truly wonderful book ... Andrea Wulf has told the tale with such brio, such understanding, such depth. The physical journeyings, all around South America when it was virtually terra incognita, are as exciting as the journeys of Humboldt's mind into astronomy, literature, philosophy and every known branch of science. This is one of the most exciting intellectual biographies I have ever read, up there with Lewes's Goethe and Ray Monk's Wittgenstein' A N Wilson

'Andrea Wulf's marvellous book should put this captivating eighteenth century German scientist, traveller and opinion-shaper back at the heart of the way we look at the world ... irresistible and consistently absorbing life of a man whose discoveries have shaped the way we see' MIRANDA SEYMOUR, author of Noble Endeavours: A History of England and Germany

'Andrea Wulf is a writer of rare sensibilities and passionate fascinations. I always trust her to take me on unforgettable journeys through amazing histories of botanical exploration and scientific unfolding. Her work is wonderful, her language sublime, her intelligence unflagging' ELIZABETH GILBERT, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781848549005
Publication date: 24/03/2016
Publisher:
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781848549005
Publication date: 24th March 2016
Author: Andrea Wulf
Publisher:
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 496 pages
Genres: eBook Favourites, Popular Science, The Real World,
Categories: Biography: science, technology & medicine, History of science,

About Andrea Wulf

Andrea Wulf was born in India, moved to Germany as a child, and now lives in England. She is the author of several acclaimed books. The Brother Gardeners won the American Horticultural Society Book Award and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her book Founding Gardeners was on the New York Times bestseller list. Andrea has written for many newspapers including the Guardian, LA Times and New York Times. She was the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013 and a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. She appears regularly on TV and radio.

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