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A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change
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Authors: Share your news > UPDATE the plague, the microscope, the snakestone and more

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message 1: by John (last edited Sep 17, 2012 08:31AM) (new) - added it

John (johnglassie) | 17 comments Greetings. I'm the author of a biography of a great and strange 17th-century polymath named Athanasius Kircher, which is coming out in November.

Kircher, a Jesuit priest, wrote on everything from optics to medicine to math to music. He lived right through the middle of the so-called scientific revolution and in a sense he had one foot in the modern age and one foot in the past. He was one of the first people to examine blood under a microscope, for example, but he also believed in the magnetic healing power of something called the snakestone.

He was very famous in his time, and has largely been forgotten. We may be doing a giveaway of the advance reading copy if anyone is interested. Happy to answer any questions. Here are a few books I recommend:

- Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder
- Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life
- The Ghost Map
- more on my shelves



message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Thanks. Looks interesting!

message 3: by Muzammil (new)

Muzammil Hussain (muzammil_hussain) | 1 comments thanks

message 4: by Pippa (new)

Pippa (pippa222) | 4 comments Hi John, I'd definitely be interested. :) Thanks for the other titles too. For those on a slow connection I'm posting them as I look them up. Mr. Wilson's Cabinet Of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Techno logy,Edison's Eve: A Magical History of the Quest for Mechanical Life, The Ghost Map. Thanks again, John.

message 5: by John (new) - added it

John (johnglassie) | 17 comments Thanks for your interest! I'm looking into how to do a giveaway or something.

message 6: by Amanda (new)

Amanda (nellista) | 1 comments Sounds interesting! Its fascinating to think of a time before we were aware of the microscopic world.

Loved The Ghost Map too!

message 7: by John (last edited Oct 15, 2012 03:25PM) (new) - added it

John (johnglassie) | 17 comments Hello. I just wanted to share that my publisher is doing a giveaway of five copies of the finished hardback book:

A Man of Misconceptions The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change by John Glassie

Sorry about the self-promotion but I guess this the corner of the group in which it's allowed to share this news, and some of you expressed interest. I hope you can win a copy. Thanks very much. John

message 8: by Jana (new) - added it

Jana (pilgrimgirl) | 1 comments I think it sounds like a book I would enjoy--thanks for bringing it to my attention, John.

message 9: by John (new) - added it

John (johnglassie) | 17 comments Thank you. Honestly, it means so much to me that actual readers are actually going to begin to read this.

message 10: by John (new) - added it

John (johnglassie) | 17 comments FYI, the hardback giveaway ends tomorrow.
A Man of Misconceptions The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change by John Glassie

message 11: by John (new) - added it

John (johnglassie) | 17 comments I wanted to say that the book is now available (beginning last Thursday). Here are links to options for getting a hold of it:

Thanks for your interest!


John A Man of Misconceptions The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change by John Glassie

message 12: by John (new) - added it

John (johnglassie) | 17 comments Checking back in to say the book has gotten a nice response and to say thanks to those who may have picked it up. It means a lot to me. http://www.johnglassie.com/

"This fascinating biography of the Renaissance polymath Athanasius Kircher explores the birth of modern science through the life of one of the last pre-modern geniuses."
— The New Yorker

“You will come away from Glassie's book ... feeling inspired by the incredible inventive spirit of the man behind such creations as the ‘cat piano’ and ‘the speaking trumpet’ — and at the same time a bit sad that such characters as Kircher have been left mostly forgotten in the winds of time. You'll feel more knowledgeable about everything because of this book.”
— The Atlantic Wire, “Books We Loved in 2012”

“Hooh boy! ... Why do I love Kircher so much? Chalk it up to the man’s passion for scientific inquiry, and his boundless curiosity about how the world works.”
— Scientific American, “Sampling the Best Science Books of 2012”

"Brisk ... stirring ... [written] with impressive verve."
— The New York Times

"fun and magisterial ... A simply fascinating book about a fascinating figure."
— Baltimore City Paper

"In his quirky biography … Mr. Glassie uses Kircher as something of a comic foil to show how erroneous ideas about investigating nature helped lead to modern science... [A] spirited telling."
— The Wall Street Journal

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