Customer Reviews


75 Reviews
5 star:
 (58)
4 star:
 (10)
3 star:
 (4)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:
 (3)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


97 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly compelling history of science in the Enlightenment
I'm not a scientist. I have only a passing interest in the history of science. However, I'm c250 pages in and I am gripped. Holmes has the narrative skill of a great novelist, conjuring worlds and characters out of what could have so easily have been dry facts. Starting with Joseph Banks' experiences in Tahiti (he travelled as part of Cook's expedition), Holmes takes the...
Published on 17 Dec 2008 by Henry Turner

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Very good in parts
I found parts of this book very interesting but there are also boring parts which I skipped over. But overall worth the price..
Published 16 months ago by Richard Comber


‹ Previous | 17 8 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely Book, 30 Dec 2009
By 
K. J. Dean "Karen Dean" (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (Hardcover)
This book has some very interesting facts about the lives of the people it concentrates on such as Sir Joseph Banks, William Herschel, Caroline Herschel, Sir Humphry Davy and many more. I'm not an academic but I do have an interest in history and science and I often find non-fiction difficult to read but this was nothing of the kind, infact it was a pleasure. I would not hesitate in recommending this book to anyone who has an interest in history or the science of history or even just plain old wonderfull knowledge.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the scientific celebs of the british enlightenment, 27 Dec 2009
Holmes' book well deserves the critical plaudits printed all over its cover. This is a well integrated story of the emergence of the modern "scientist" in the late 18th and early 19th century. Focusing on biographies of botanist Joseph Banks, the Herschel astronomy family and safety lamp man, Humphrey Davy this narrative shows how (largely through the networking of Banks) a culture of science for society rather than individual study emerges. The cast list interwoven by Holmes is broad as well as enormous: the Montgolfiers (a very entertaining chapter on ballooning) and explorer Mungo Park (who I remember mainly from a stained glass window in my primary school, close to where he grew up) but more significantly the close relationship between the people of science and the new Romantic literary movement. So we have the Shelleys, Southey, Coleridge and Byron attending lectures, sampling exotic gases as well as exchanging verses and prose with the scientists. A culture of Romantic celebs! In terms of A level language - a genuinely synoptic work from a master of biographical writing.

There are surprises: the emergence of Caroline Herschel as a great scientist of note in her own right as well as the driving force behind her two brothers. Davy is shown in a much less sympathetic light (and is perhaps over emphasized here at the expense of more focus on continental connections to the movement as a whole).

The book is well presented to. Apart from the usual footnotes I liked the device of printing key supplements to the main text at the foot of the relevant page. There is also a cast list that acts as a good reference to the galaxy of names mentioned (and which you might remember only vaguely from school science lessons).

Like the best of writing at the end you want to read on - about the new wave of scientists that come through - Faraday, Babbage and the significance of Mary Somerville. Perhaps there is scope for a follow up to the 470 pages of tight print presented here.....
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 7 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Probably a good read.... but very poorly laid out on the page so impossible to enjoy., 14 Nov 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Bought this with high hopes, in fact pretty sure I'll never read it. Font and line spacing are far too small and crowded to read comfortably. There's nothing wrong with my eyesight, I just can't enjoy this book - the printer and publisher should be ashamed. A waste of what is probably a very interesting piece of work - I imagine I'll never know. Very disappointing.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 83 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Insufferable and sloppy English, 9 Mar 2011
If you are sensitive to the way English is written, and to questions of accuracy, avoid this book. Here are some examples:

- C 'knitted' stockings (p80) which earlier she 'sewed'
- 'In Holland her hat was gloriously [sic] blown off into a canal' (p 81)
- 'William had promised to train her up [sic] as a professional concert singer ...'
- 'with impeccable Prussian logic ...' (p. 97)[one of scores of meaningless and silly cliches]
- 'predatory French astronomers' (p99) [typical of wildly improbable epithets]
- uses 'foot' as plural of 'foot' (p110, passim) ...But 'feet' at p. 128 !
- Mungo Park attacked by 'a party of lions' (p224)
- 'continuously soaked by ... rains' (p224)(this schoolboy confusion with 'continual' frequent; see also p211)
- Timbucktoo is 'south of the Sahara' (p212). No it isn't.
- Mungo Park 'was physically hardy and resilient but also well-read and thoughtful' (p213) Well, Richard, I am English but thin.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 52 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars tedious, 21 Jan 2011
Ok, I get it. It is about age of romance. But book is filled with useless and petty information on personal lives and scientific breakthroughs ... so much that the great scientific breakthroughs are mere side stories.

But one thing does stand out - how Britain managed to get ahead.

Tedious. No loss if you don't read this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 17 8 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science
Used & New from: £2.39
Add to wishlist See buying options
Only search this product's reviews