The young, deaf astronomer John Goodricke practiced in late 18th century England, a unique period in the study of the physical world. Newton’s dispassionate and mechanistic universe had given way to one of wonder explored by a more romantic science. Secrets of nature were uncovered through persistent and personal investigations conducted in lonely garrets. A metaphor, yes, but one literally true in the case of Goodricke.
It was also a time quite without sentiment. The outlook for a deaf child in the late 18th century was far from promising. John Goodricke’s progressive parents, however, discovered the first school for the deaf in all of Great Britain. His successful education allowed for later work in classical astronomy that proved to become both pioneering and consequential.
Goodricke’s Time is an historical novel, but not an alternate history. It is a tale of friendship, dogged science, and the conflict between solitude and loneliness we all carry within.
A.C. Theokas has long been lured by the history of science. Through it we learn about great men and women who thought freely and, in doing so, went against convention. There is often great drama in this with compelling stories that follow such as John Goodricke’s. Theokas believes the best way to relate to the past is through historical fiction. If it is true that travel broadens the mind, then what are we to make of the notion that the past is a foreign country? How might we journey there? Museums or theme parks come to mind, but the more the past is appreciated for its own sake, the less real or relevant it becomes. It is literature that offers the more immersive experience. Theokas holds a doctorate in astronomy from The Victoria University of Manchester and studied urban design at Harvard University. In addition to residing in England for many years he has lived in the West Indies and West Africa. He has lectured in astronomy at Villanova University and Harvard College, has published numerous papers in professional journals and a non-fiction work by Liverpool University Press. Other historically themed titles on Lowell, Massachusetts and the island of Martha’s Vineyard are soon to be published by Fonthill Media. Goodricke’s Time is his first novel.