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The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science: Costa & Royal Society Prize Winner Paperback – 24 Mar 2016

4.7 out of 5 stars 202 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray; 01 edition (24 Mar. 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848549008
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848549005
  • Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 3.2 x 20.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 202 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,462 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

A big, magnificent, adventurous book - so vividly written and daringly researched - a geographical pilgrimage and an intellectual epic! Brilliant, surprising, and thought-provoking . . . a major achievement (RICHARD HOLMES, author of The Age of Wonder and Coleridge)

A truly wonderful book . . . Andrea Wulf has told the tale with such brio, such understanding, such depth. The physical journeyings, all around South America when it was virtually terra incognita, are as exciting as the journeys of Humboldt's mind into astronomy, literature, philosophy and every known branch of science. This is one of the most exciting intellectual biographies I have ever read, up there with Lewes's Goethe and Ray Monk's Wittgenstein (A N Wilson)

Andrea Wulf's marvellous book should put this captivating eighteenth century German scientist, traveller and opinion-shaper back at the heart of the way we look at the world . . . irresistible and consistently absorbing life of a man whose discoveries have shaped the way we see (MIRANDA SEYMOUR, author of Noble Endeavours: A History of England and Germany)

Andrea Wulf is a writer of rare sensibilities and passionate fascinations. I always trust her to take me on unforgettable journeys through amazing histories of botanical exploration and scientific unfolding. Her work is wonderful, her language sublime, her intelligence unflagging (ELIZABETH GILBERT, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love)

Engrossing . . . Wulf successfully combines biography with an intoxicating history of his times (Kirkus)

Extraordinary, and often still sadly relevant too (Wanderlust)

The phrase 'lost hero of science' in the subtitle of [Wulf's] book is no exaggeration . . . A big book about a big subject, written with scholarship and enthusiasm (Irish Examiner)

In her coruscating account, historian Andrea Wulf reveals an indefatigable adept of close observation with a gift for the long view (Nature)

[A] gripping study . . . No one who reads this brilliant book is likely to forget Humboldt (New Scientist)

This book sets out to restore Humboldt to his rightful place in the pantheon of natural scientists. In the process Wulf does a great deal more. This meticulously researched work - part biography, part cabinet of curiosity - takes us on an exhilarating armchair voyage through some of the world's least hospitable regions (Giles Milton Mail on Sunday)

Book Description

Before Longitude no one remembered John Harrison. The Invention of Nature does the same for Alexander von Humboldt

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