The Invention of Clouds
A tantalising mixture of biography, history and science. The Invention of Clouds takes as its focus a specific scientific advance of the early nineteenth century, but it also addresses other issues of the day, such as culture, religion, aesthetics, literature etc. At the time such things weren't divided into separate disciplines, a mentality that is reflected by the book itself. It tells the story of a shy young Quaker, Luke Howard, and his pioneering work to define what had hitherto been random and unknowable structures - clouds. Catapulted to fame in December 1802 when he named the clouds, his work is still the basis of modern meteorology, but he himself has been overlooked. In this book Hamblyn means to restore him, his cultural context and the science he loved, to life.
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