Elizabeth's Reviews > The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science

The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes
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Jun 07, 12

Read in June, 2012

Richard Holmes is a wonderful writer, which makes reading this book even more fun. It is about that period of time -- 1770 to 1820 (more or less) -- and the scientific discoveries that shaped that generation and the world. Beginning with Joseph Banks' accompanying the trip to Tahiti to witness the Transit of Venus (Timely!), it covers Herschel's discovery of Uranus, Davy's investigations into gases and many of the scientific geniuses of the time. In fact the word "scientist" didn't exist until these men (and a few women) started discovering more about the world around us. Their involvement with the romantic writers of the time--Coleridge, Shelley, Byron--makes their discoveries part of the life of the time, not just something occurring offstage in a laboratory.

This is a fascinating view of the people who were thrilled by the discoveries being made at the time, discoveries that changed views of the world and brought people into the world of science and observation.
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