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Image for The invention of nature  : the adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the lost hero of science

The invention of nature : the adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the lost hero of science

By: Wulf, Andrea

1848549008 / 9781848549005
Paperback
509.2
24/03/2016
Stock expected by 04/12/2020
England
20 cm xxi, 473 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (black and white, and colour), maps (b
General (US: Trade)  Learn More Professional & Vocational Tertiary Education (US: College)
Reprint. Originally published: 2015.

WINNER OF THE 2015 COSTA BIOGRAPHY AWARDWINNER OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY SCIENCE BOOK PRIZE 2016'A thrilling adventure story' Bill Bryson'Dazzling' Literary Review 'Brilliant' Sunday Express'Extraordinary and gripping' New Scientist'A superb biography' The Economist'An exhilarating armchair voyage' GILES MILTON, Mail on Sunday Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist - more things are named after him than anyone else.

There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon.

His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike.

Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolivar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books.

He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'. Taking us on a fantastic voyage in his footsteps - racing across anthrax-infected Russia or mapping tropical rivers alive with crocodiles - Andrea Wulf shows why his life and ideas remain so important today.

Humboldt predicted human-induced climate change as early as 1800, and The Invention of Nature traces his ideas as they go on to revolutionize and shape science, conservation, nature writing, politics, art and the theory of evolution.

He wanted to know and understand everything and his way of thinking was so far ahead of his time that it's only coming into its own now.

Alexander von Humboldt really did invent the way we see nature.

BIC:

3JH c 1800 to c 1900, BGT Biography: science, technology & medicine, PDX History of science

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