Thursday, December 2, 2010

Heard about a Book...

NPR reviewed an interesting book, The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes (see May 30th). NPR says, "Holmes writes of the wonder that gripped Joseph Banks as he first sighted the shores of Tahiti from the deck of Captain Cook's ship Endeavor in 1769. In chapter after entertaining chapter, Holmes describes men and women driven by wonder to make the extraordinary discoveries that changed history. Few novelists could beat Holmes' account of John Jeffries and Jean-Pierre Blanchard's historic crossing of the English Channel by balloon—out of ballast, they very nearly crashed into the cliffs of Calais, but saved themselves by casting off their clothes and urinating, which lifted them to safety."