Kevin Berger at Salon reviews a new book that's been getting a lot of buzz: "Age of Wonder" by Richard Holmes. It explores scientific advancement in Great Britain in the 18th and 19th centuries, a time when art and science shared common goals and spoke a common language. I'm adding it to my reading list, but given the quality of Berger's review, I kind of wish he could just walk me through it. Snip:
"A good history of science unreels like the practice of science itself. It wends through a world of experiments until a new reality arises. But the more layered story of that journey is that science is not just a process but is the men and women performing it. In his radiant new book, "The Age of Wonder," Holmes treats us to the amazing lives of the pioneering sailors and balloonists, astronomers and chemists of the Romantic era. Making good on the book's subtitle, he takes us on a dazzling tour of their chaotic British observatories and fatal explorations in African jungles, showing us "how the Romantic generation discovered the beauty and terror of science.'"