Stock Image

The Lunar Men; Five Friends Whose Curiosity Changed the World

Uglow, Jenny

650 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0374194408 / ISBN 13: 9780374194406
Published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York, 2002
Condition: Very good Hardcover
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since August 14, 1998 Seller Rating 4-star rating

Quantity Available: 1

Buy Used
Price: US$ 75.00 Convert Currency
Shipping: US$ 5.00 Within U.S.A. Destination, rates & speeds
Add to basket

30 Day Return Policy

About this Item

xx, 588 pages. Map. Chronology. Abbreviations, Sources and Notes. List of Illustrations. Index. Signed bookplate on fep. DJ has slight wear and soiling. Jennifer Sheila Uglow OBE (born 1947) is a British biographer, historian, critic and publisher. She has written critically acclaimed biographies of Elizabeth Gaskell, William Hogarth, Thomas Bewick and the Lunar Society, and has also compiled a women's biographical dictionary. The scientists and engineers of the Lunar Society, including Erasmus Darwin, Matthew Boulton, James Watt, Joseph Priestley and Josiah Wedgwood, are the subject of The Lunar Men. She won the 2002 James Tait Black Memorial Prize and the 2003 Hessell-Tiltman Prize for The Lunar Men. She is a past president of the Alliance of Literary Societies and has also chaired the Council of the Royal Society of Literature. Uglow's biographies have been particularly praised for their vivid, detailed recreation of the time and place in which their subjects lived. In the 1760s a group of amateur experimenters met and made friends in the English Midlands. They were young and their optimism was boundless: together they would change the world. Among them were the toymaker Matthew Boulton and his partner James Watt, of steam-engine fame; the potter Josiah Wedgwood; the Erasmus Darwin, physician, poet, inventor, and theorist of evolution. Later came Joseph Priestley, discoverer of oxygen and radical. 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. Uglow's exhilarating account uncovers the friendships, political passions, love affairs, and love of knowledge that drove these extraordinary men. First American Edition [Stated]. Second Printing [stated]. Bookseller Inventory # 72656

Ask Seller a Question

Bibliographic Details

Title: The Lunar Men; Five Friends Whose Curiosity ...

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, New York

Publication Date: 2002

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition: Very good

Dust Jacket Condition: Very good

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

From the celebrated author of Hogarth--An animated, swarming group portrait of the friends who launched the Industrial Revolution

In the 1760s a group of amateur experimenters met and made friends in the English Midlands. Most came from humble families, all lived far from the center of things, but they were young and their optimism was boundless: together they would change the world. Among them were the ambitious toymaker Matthew Boulton and his partner James Watt, of steam-engine fame; the potter Josiah Wedgwood; 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.

Uglow's vivid, 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.

Review:

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

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Store Description

Founded and operated by trained historians, Ground Zero Books, Ltd., serves the book collector, the scholar, and institutions. We focus on the individual, and pride ourselves on our personal service. Please contact us with your wants, as we have many books not yet listed in our database.

Visit Seller's Storefront

Terms of Sale:

Books are subject to prior sale. Please ask us to hold a book for you before you
mail your check. Books are returnable within 7 days, if not satisfactory. MD
residents add 6% state sales tax.
The mailing address for Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (a subchapter-S corporation) is
P.O. Box 8369, Silver Spring, MD 20907-8369. You can reach us by phone at 301-
585-1471, by fax at 301-920-0253, or by e-mail at gzbooksltd@aol.com. Ground Zero
Books, Ltd., is owned & operated by R. Alan Lewis & Lynne Haims.


Shipping Terms:

Orders usually ship within 2 business days. Shipping costs are based on books
weighing 2.2 LB, or 1 KG. If your book order is heavy or oversized, we may contact
you to let you know extra shipping is required.

List this Seller's Books

Payment Methods
accepted by seller

Visa Mastercard American Express

Check Money Order PayPal Invoice