debuts of the month
Search our site
Persons Unknown by Susie Steiner Read the opening extract of the brand new Susie Steiner book before its publication on 05/04/2018

The Invention of Clouds How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies by Richard Hamblyn

The Invention of Clouds How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies


The Invention of Clouds How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies by 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.


'Elegantly written and richly diverting'

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.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

6th September 2002


Richard Hamblyn

More books by Richard Hamblyn
Author 'Like for Like'


Picador an imprint of Pan Macmillan


304 pages


Popular science
History of science
Biography: historical, political & military



I love 'try before you buy' extracts. I love the wide range of authors & genres. I love the author info. I love books!

Judi Davies

Lovereading is pitched at just the right level for all the various types of people who enjoy reading in its many forms.

Pam Woodburn

Lovereading always comes up with great suggestions and has introduced me to enjoyable books and new authors to discover.

Gaynor Passmore

Thanks to Lovereading I have discovered new writers and read books I would never had looked twice at - and enjoyed them.

Angela Rhodes

You can trust Lovereading to show unbiased reviews by actual, ordinary readers that help likeminded booklovers choose their next great read.

Linda Hill

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.

Carol Peace