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9780571216109

The Lunar Men: The Inventors of the Modern World 1730-1810

Uglow, Jenny Author

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9780571216109: The Lunar Men: The Inventors of the Modern World 1730-1810

Led by the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, the Lunar Society of Birmingham were a group of eighteenth-century amateur experimenters who met monthly on the Monday night nearest to the full moon. Echoing to the thud of pistons and the wheeze of snorting engines, Jenny Uglow's vivid and swarming group portrait brings to life the inventors, artisans and tycoons who shaped and fired the modern world. Here's just a few of the many great reviews for The Lunar Men: 'An exhilarating book, filled with wonders ...Jenny Uglow is the most perfect historian imaginable.' Peter Ackroyd, The Times 'An irresistible book, rich as a Christmas pudding in its detail. Uglow is the perfect guide, lucid, intelligent, sympathetic and wise. A wonderful subject has found its perfect historian.' Spectator 'A constant delight ...Beautifully illustrated with many plates and diagrams, The Lunar Men lays bare the forces that prepared the way for the modern world.' John Carey, Sunday Times 'I loved them, every one, from the vagaries of Dr Erasmus Darwin, who listed boredom and credulity along with scabies as human afflictions, to Josiah Wedgwood's dismissal of a chic sculptor's rococo models as 'the head of a drowned puppy'. Uglow, uniquely, can do things, thoughts and well-rounded people in the round. Nobody else writes so perceptively about the power of friendship. Great stuff.' Guardian

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In the 1760s a group of amateur experimenters met and made friends in the Midlands. Most came from humble families, all lived far from the centre of things, but they were young and their optimism was boundless: together they would change the world. Among them were the ambitious toy-maker Matthew Boulton and his partner James Watt, of steam-engine fame; the potter Josiah Wedgewood; the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, physician, poet, inventor and theorist of evolution (a forerunner of his grandson Charles). Later came Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen and fighting radical. With a small band of allies they formed the Lunar Society of Birmingham (so called because it met at each full moon) and kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Blending science, art and commerce, the "Lunar Men" built canals, launched balloons, named plants, gases and minerals, changed the face of England and the china in its drawing rooms and plotted to revolutionize its soul. This exhilarating account uncovers the friendships, political passions, love affairs, and love of knowledge (and power) that drove these extraordinary men. It echoes to the thud of pistons and the wheeze and snort of engines, and brings to life the tradesmen, artisans and tycoons who shaped and fired the modern age.

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In the late 1700s, five gifted inventors and amateur scholars in Birmingham, England, came together for what one of them, Erasmus Darwin, called "a little philosophical laughing." They also helped kick-start the industrial revolution, as Jenny Uglow relates in the lively The Lunar Men: Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World. Their "Lunar Society" included Joseph Priestley, the chemist who isolated oxygen; James Watt, the Scottish inventor of the steam engine; and Josiah Wedgwood, whose manufacture of pottery created the industrial model for the next century. Joined by other "toymakers" and scholarly tinkerers, they concocted schemes for building great canals and harnessing the power of electricity, coined words such as "hydrogen" and "iridescent," shared theories and bank accounts, fended off embezzlers and industrial spies, and forged a fine "democracy of knowledge." And they had a fine time doing so, proving that scholars need not be dullards or eccentrics asocial.

Uglow's spirited look at this group of remarkable "lunaticks" captures a critical, short-lived moment of early modern history. Readers who share their conviction that knowledge brings power will find this book a rewarding adventure. --Gregory McNamee

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 122 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Led by the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, the Lunar Society of Birmingham were a group of eighteenth-century amateur experimenters who met monthly on the Monday night nearest to the full moon. Echoing to the thud of pistons and the wheeze of snorting engines, Jenny Uglow s vivid and swarming group portrait brings to life the inventors, artisans and tycoons who shaped and fired the modern world. Here s just a few of the many great reviews for The Lunar Men: An exhilarating book, filled with wonders .Jenny Uglow is the most perfect historian imaginable. Peter Ackroyd, The Times An irresistible book, rich as a Christmas pudding in its detail. Uglow is the perfect guide, lucid, intelligent, sympathetic and wise. A wonderful subject has found its perfect historian. Spectator A constant delight .Beautifully illustrated with many plates and diagrams, The Lunar Men lays bare the forces that prepared the way for the modern world. John Carey, Sunday Times I loved them, every one, from the vagaries of Dr Erasmus Darwin, who listed boredom and credulity along with scabies as human afflictions, to Josiah Wedgwood s dismissal of a chic sculptor s rococo models as the head of a drowned puppy . Uglow, uniquely, can do things, thoughts and well-rounded people in the round. Nobody else writes so perceptively about the power of friendship. Great stuff. Guardian. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780571216109

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Book Description FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 198 x 122 mm. Language: English Brand New Book. Led by the larger-than-life Erasmus Darwin, the Lunar Society of Birmingham were a group of eighteenth-century amateur experimenters who met monthly on the Monday night nearest to the full moon. Echoing to the thud of pistons and the wheeze of snorting engines, Jenny Uglow s vivid and swarming group portrait brings to life the inventors, artisans and tycoons who shaped and fired the modern world. Here s just a few of the many great reviews for The Lunar Men: An exhilarating book, filled with wonders .Jenny Uglow is the most perfect historian imaginable. Peter Ackroyd, The Times An irresistible book, rich as a Christmas pudding in its detail. Uglow is the perfect guide, lucid, intelligent, sympathetic and wise. A wonderful subject has found its perfect historian. Spectator A constant delight .Beautifully illustrated with many plates and diagrams, The Lunar Men lays bare the forces that prepared the way for the modern world. John Carey, Sunday Times I loved them, every one, from the vagaries of Dr Erasmus Darwin, who listed boredom and credulity along with scabies as human afflictions, to Josiah Wedgwood s dismissal of a chic sculptor s rococo models as the head of a drowned puppy . Uglow, uniquely, can do things, thoughts and well-rounded people in the round. Nobody else writes so perceptively about the power of friendship. Great stuff. Guardian. Bookseller Inventory # AB99780571216109

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Book Description 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 1st. 126mm x 198mm x 33mm. Paperback. In the 1760s a group of amateur experimenters met and made friends in the Midlands. Most came from humble families, all lived far from the centre of things, but they were young and their o.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 608 pages. 0.408. Bookseller Inventory # 9780571216109

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