Trough the prism of the tumultuous life and brilliant intellect of Sir Christopher Wren, the multitalented architect of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, historian Lisa Jardine unfolds the vibrant, extraordinary emerging new world of late-seventeenth-century science and ideas.
The man behind the bold, imposing beauty of Saint Paul's was as remarkable as the monuments he has left us. Wren was a versatile genius who could have pursued a number of brilliant careers with equal virtuosity. A mathematical prodigy, an accomplished astronomer, a skillful anatomist, and a founder of the Royal Society, he eventually made a career in what he described disparagingly in later life as "Rubbish " -- architecture, and the design and construction of public buildings.
Wren was a major figure at a turning point in English history. He mapped moons and the trajectories of comets for kings; lived and worked under six monarchs; pursued astronomy and medicine during two civil wars; exercised his creativity through the English Commonwealth, the Great Fire, the Restoration. His royal employment out lasted abdication, Dutch invasion, and the eventual extinction of the Stuart dynasty.
Beyond the public achievements, Jardine explores Wren's personal motivations and passions. He was a sincere, intensely moral man with a remarkable capacity for friendship. His career was shaped by lasting associations forged during a turbulent boyhood and a lifelong loyalty to the memory of his father's master and benefactor, the "martyred king," Charles I.
Everything Wren undertook, he envisaged on a grander scale -- bigger, better, more enduring than anything that had gone before.
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Lisa Jardine is the author of Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance and Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution. She is Professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, and Director of the AHRB Research Centre for Editing Lives and Letters there, as well as an Honorary Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. She writes and reviews for major British national newspapers and magazines, and has presented and appears regularly on arts, history and current-affairs programs for TV and radio. She judged the 1996 Whitbread Prize, the 1999 Guardian First Book Award, and the Orwell Prize, and was Chair of Judges for the 1997 Orange Prize. She is currently Chair of Judges for the 2002 Booker Prize. Lisa Jardine is married to architect John Hare and has three children.From Publishers Weekly:
This is the second biography of Wren (1632-1723) to appear in the last year, following Adrian Tinniswood's His Invention So Fertile (Oxford). Renaissance scholar Jardine (Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution, etc.) takes the cultural historical tack that has brought her scholarly renown, providing not only a nearly day-by-day account of the polymathic British architect's most important moments but minutely detailed background on institutions like the Royal Society and the Royal Observatory (along with the Order of the Garter), on developing science (blood transfusion, longitude) and on people: the royal families, Robert Hooke, John Evelyn. Wren was appointed to the Rebuilding Commission established after the devastating Great Fire of London in 1666, becoming in time responsible for the design and rebuilding of all 51 churches destroyed by the fire, and for the reconstruction of St. Paul's. By the time Wren came to that work by which he is best known, he had already achieved enormous distinction as a scientist, inventor and mathematician-and he was 34 years old. By 1689, he was at work renovating Hampton Court Palace for William and Mary, the third royal family he had served; in their reign, he was appointed surveyor of Westminster Abbey in 1698, a post he held until his death. To stick with Jardine requires a serious interest in Wren and period history. The rich documentation-the full text of private and public papers (e.g., letters of patent, royal warrants, correspondence, receipts, marginalia, excerpts from diaries) and 80 b&w illustrations and a 16-page color insert-may dizzy the reader who is not intimate with 17th century prose style, but will astonish those who are. And Jardine's discovery of an underground chamber in the Monument to the Great Fire is something any amateur sleuth will enjoy.
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Book Description HarperCollins, 2002. Book Condition: Good. 1ST. N/A. Ships from the UK. Former Library book. Shows some signs of wear, and may have some markings on the inside. Bookseller Inventory # GRP9315293
Book Description Hardback. Book Condition: Very Good. The book has been read, but is in excellent condition. Pages are intact and not marred by notes or highlighting. The spine remains undamaged. Bookseller Inventory # GOR001629547
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Book Description HarperCollins, New York, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. The dust jacket is housed in a removable mylar cover. Bookseller Inventory # 000279
Book Description HarperCollins 2002 HarperCollins 2002 xviii 600pp colour plates, b/w illustrations hardback, small bump at tail of spine otherwise like new with fine unclipped dustwrapper Very Good. Bookseller Inventory # 57116
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Book Description Harper-Collins, London, 2002. Original Boards. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. 1st Edition. xviii+600p ilustrated. "Through the prism of the tumultuous life and brilliant intellect of Sir Christopher Wren, the multitalented architect (he was also a mathematician and astronomer as well as a founder of the Royal Society)of Saint Paul's Cathedral in London, historian Lisa Jardine, author of 'Worldly Goods: A New History of the Renaissance' and 'Ingenious Pursuits: Building the Scientific Revolution,' unfolds the vibrant, extraordinary emerging new world of late-seventeenth-century science and ideas". Notes, bibliography, index. Both book & d/w fine and unmarked - though two blind 5mm tears in top of d/w. No othere marks or signatures. Pubd. @ £25. See scans. Size: Thick 8vo. Bookseller Inventory # 004366
Book Description Harper Collins : London, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. 1st Edition. Bookseller Inventory # 9869
Book Description Harper Collins, UK, 2002. Hardcover. Book Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. Hardback in near fine condition complete with d/j also in near fine condition with only some light scuffing and marking to the front and rear. Content fine comprising 600 pages with 4 sections of illustration amongst. Size: 9.25 x 6.25" Weight 1.3 Kg so some additional postage will be required. Bookseller Inventory # 008265
Book Description HarperCollins, London, 2002. Hard Cover. Book Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. First Edition. xviii, 600 pages, illustrated in black and white and colour, extensive notes, substantial bibliography. '.takes us deep into Wren's multi-faceted imagination and discovers the unique, exacting nature of his mind. Through the prism of Wren's mind Jardine unfolds the vibrant, extraordinary emerging new world of late-seventeenth-century science and ideas' Size: 9 1/2" x 6 1/8". Bookseller Inventory # 005530