Actually, not so much read then as finished writing then...
A note from the author: I have a policy of NOT rating my own books, but I was really pleaseActually, not so much read then as finished writing then...
A note from the author: I have a policy of NOT rating my own books, but I was really pleased with the way this turned out. It is heavy, 1.5 kg, but there is an epub e-book due out soon, for less than half the price. AUD$15, I understand.
I commend this e-version to overseas readers in particular, but even more so for Australian readers. That is because this e-book is not the usual print-book-on-the-screen, because we pushed the envelope.
Well, to be blunt, we shoved the envelope out the window. This is no mere-smear shovelware, shoe-horning the dead-tree version into a non-atoms form, because the National Library of Australia indulged, even welcomed, my fantasy of creating Something Completely Different.
There are something like 500 hotlinks in the text, taking the reader with a web-connected e-reader to a wealth of extra information, mainly contemporary news reports from the National Library's wonderful Trove collection of historic newspapers.
I hope that other e-book makers will follow suit. There is an e-book on gold rushes in production which follows the same philosophy, and a bushrangers one, right behind that. Neither of those will have a dead-tree equivalent....more
When I was in London's Soho im 1993, I called in to buy some film and caused a panic when I said I was looking for Broad Street "where the cholera epiWhen I was in London's Soho im 1993, I called in to buy some film and caused a panic when I said I was looking for Broad Street "where the cholera epidemic happened in 1854". The oaf behind the counter went into spasm. "We ain't ever 'ad no bleedin' cholera arahnd 'ere, mate, shuddup, you berk, you'll frighten the tourists" stuff.
In the end I found the John Snow pub in Broadwick Street, chatted with a few anesthetists and one epidemiologist in the upstairs bar (closed in 2006 when I went back for a new t-shirt) (they're no good, now, the publican's a prat). It was real, it was epoch-making.
This is the book to read before you go there, succinct, brilliant, entertaining--as a rival, I HATE Steven Johnson.
Should be a six star category for books like this....more
This is a truly excellent piece of scientific history, delightfully-told. Dirty tricks, plots, scientific bigotry, hints of blackmail, anthrax, dalliaThis is a truly excellent piece of scientific history, delightfully-told. Dirty tricks, plots, scientific bigotry, hints of blackmail, anthrax, dalliance with actresses, corruption in high places and much more.
The story is about Adrien Loir, nephew to Louis Pasteur, coming to Australia to demonstrate that "chicken cholera" could be used to reduce (or perhaps eliminate) the rabbit plague that was ruining agriculture in Australia and New Zealand.
I specialise in the area and the era, so I was familiar with the story in general terms, and many of the names are also familiar to me, but I was unaware of just how much extra detail lay beneath the surface.
The only thing missing is the tale of the swan-neck flasks that Loir made to demonstrate a famous Pasteur experiment: I saw one of these at the Macleay Museum some years ago, still uncorrupted. It is a minor quibble, because the flasks were nothing to do with the main tale, but it shows another side to Loir.
Dando-Collins has written a book on Bligh -- so I am off to look for it!