Andrea Wulf - The Invention of Nature - Hodder & Stoughton

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • Hardback £25.00
    More information
    • ISBN:9781848548985
    • Publication date:22 Oct 2015
  • Paperback £10.99
    More information
    • ISBN:9781848549005
    • Publication date:24 Mar 2016

The Invention of Nature

The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science: Costa & Royal Society Prize Winner

By Andrea Wulf
Read by David Drummond

  • Downloadable audio file
  • £P.O.R.

Before Longitude no one remembered John Harrison. The Invention of Nature does the same for Alexander von Humboldt
Biographical Notes

Andrea Wulf was born in India, moved to Germany as a child, and now lives in England. She is the author of several acclaimed books. The Brother Gardeners won the American Horticultural Society Book Award and was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize. Her book Founding Gardeners was on the New York Times bestseller list. Andrea has written for many newspapers including the Guardian, LA Times and New York Times. She was the Eccles British Library Writer in Residence 2013 and a three-time fellow of the International Center for Jefferson Studies at Monticello. She appears regularly on TV and radio.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781473637184
  • Publication date: 17 Nov 2015
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: John Murray
A big, magnificent, adventurous book - so vividly written and daringly researched - a geographical pilgrimage and an intellectual epic! Brilliant, surprising, and thought-provoking . . . a major achievement — RICHARD HOLMES, author of The Age of Wonder and Coleridge
A truly wonderful book . . . Andrea Wulf has told the tale with such brio, such understanding, such depth. The physical journeyings, all around South America when it was virtually terra incognita, are as exciting as the journeys of Humboldt's mind into astronomy, literature, philosophy and every known branch of science. This is one of the most exciting intellectual biographies I have ever read, up there with Lewes's Goethe and Ray Monk's Wittgenstein — A N Wilson
Andrea Wulf's marvellous book should put this captivating eighteenth century German scientist, traveller and opinion-shaper back at the heart of the way we look at the world . . . irresistible and consistently absorbing life of a man whose discoveries have shaped the way we see — MIRANDA SEYMOUR, author of Noble Endeavours: A History of England and Germany
Andrea Wulf is a writer of rare sensibilities and passionate fascinations. I always trust her to take me on unforgettable journeys through amazing histories of botanical exploration and scientific unfolding. Her work is wonderful, her language sublime, her intelligence unflagging — ELIZABETH GILBERT, author of The Signature of All Things and Eat, Pray, Love
Engrossing . . . Wulf successfully combines biography with an intoxicating history of his times — Kirkus
Extraordinary, and often still sadly relevant too — Wanderlust
The phrase 'lost hero of science' in the subtitle of [Wulf's] book is no exaggeration . . . A big book about a big subject, written with scholarship and enthusiasm — Irish Examiner
In her coruscating account, historian Andrea Wulf reveals an indefatigable adept of close observation with a gift for the long view — Nature
[A] gripping study . . . No one who reads this brilliant book is likely to forget Humboldt — New Scientist
This book sets out to restore Humboldt to his rightful place in the pantheon of natural scientists. In the process Wulf does a great deal more. This meticulously researched work - part biography, part cabinet of curiosity - takes us on an exhilarating armchair voyage through some of the world's least hospitable regions — Giles Milton, Mail on Sunday
Thrilling . . . It is impossible to read The Invention of Nature without contracting Humboldt fever. Wulf makes Humboldtians of us all . . . At times The Invention of Nature reads like pulp explorer fiction . . . She has gone to near-Humboldtian lengths to research her book — New York Review of Books
Engrossing . . . Andrea Wulf magnificently recreates Humboldt's dazzling, complex personality and the scope of his writing — Wall Street Journal
A rollicking adventure story . . . a fascinating history of ideas, in which Wulf leads us expertly along a series of colourful threads that emanate from the great tapestry of Humboldt's life and work . . . What really fascinated me about The Invention of Nature is how relevant Humboldt's ideas are today . . . Arriving in South America, Darwin took his first steps in the tropical forest and exclaimed: "I formerly admired Humboldt, I now almost adore him". Readers of Wulf's marvellous new book may feel the same way — Financial Times
Wulf's telling of his life reads like a Who's Who of his age . . . in its mission to rescue Humboldt's reputation from the crevasse he and many other German writers and scientists fell into after the Second World War, it succeeds — Independent on Sunday
Wulf's biography is a magnificent work of resurrection, beautifully researched, elegantly written, a thrilling intellectual odyssey — Sunday Times
Wulf's brilliant biography traces [Humboldt's] daring travels in South America and across the Andes, his sojourns in Berlin, Paris and London, and the intellectual circles he moved in — Sunday Express
Andrea Wulf is clearly as passionate about this remarkable man as his peers and successors were, and she does an impressive job of capturing the scale and scope of Humboldt's substantial achievements — Press Association
In a superb biography, Andrea Wulf makes an inspired case for Alexander von Humboldt to be considered the greatest scientist of the 19th century . . . Ecologists today, Ms Wulf argues, are Humboldtians at heart. With the immense challenge of grasping the global consequences of climate change, Humboldt's interdisciplinary approach is more relevant than ever — The Economist
We all know who Darwin was because he came up with that memorable line about us all being descended from apes, but, as he himself would readily have admitted, the great man would never have arrived at his great theory had it not been for the very considerable influence of Alexander von Humboldt . . . Given the magnitude of his influence, why Humboldt isn't a household name today is a mystery . . . On the evidence of this wonderful book, however, he should be hastily added to every school syllabus in the land — Scotsman
Darwin pronounced him the greatest scientific traveller who ever lived, but the brilliant German Alexander von Humboldt left no groundbreaking theory or world-changing book. Wulf sets out to restore his diminished reputation, and has given us the most complete portrait of one of the world's most complete naturalists — Mark Cocker, The Spectator, Books of the Year
Wulf's narrative relates Humboldt's life and ideas at a good pace and with a strong eye for the details which will attract the reader's attention — TLS
Wulf imbues Humboldt's adventures there with something of the spirit of Tintin, relishing the jungles, mountains and dangerous animals at every turn . . . [she] has an unfailing ability to spot an interesting quotation or a curious situation. She is very good on the cities where Humboldt lived and the rival atmospheres of Paris and Berlin . . . a superior celebration of an adorable figure — Guardian
This ambitious book restores Humboldt to his rightful place in the pantheon of scientific history. The best chapters describe his exciting travels — Lady
Humboldt's vision became the inspiration for Darwin and a whole generation of American Romantics, including Thoreau and Poe. Humboldt, like Einstein, breathed life into Kant's transcendental unity. We still live in the world they imagined, even if few of us comprehend it — Telegraph
Wulf writes about complicated topics with lucidity and vitality. The Invention of Nature is a book of ideas, which repays careful reading. The intuitive yet systematising genius, courage and charm of Humboldt also make this a most inspiring book — The Times
Andrea Wulf's superb biography is a re-evaluation of a great lost scientist whose thinking strongly affected the way we now conceptualise nature . . . His extensive travels mean his biography is also an adventure story, and Wulf combines scrapes and the science to great effect — Independent
Read Andrea Wulf's gripping biography and you will be wowed by him too. If Humboldt doesn't win prizes I'll eat my party hat — New Scientist, Books of the Year
An absolutely stupendous biography — A.N. Wilson, Evening Standard, Books of the Year
Evocative descriptions of his expeditions . . . delightful stories . . . Wulf's stories of wilderness adventure and academic exchange flow easily, and her affection for von Humboldt is contagious — Publishers Weekly, Books of the Year
Wulf offers a highly readable account of the German scientist's monumental journey in the Americas — 100 Notable Books of 2015, New York Times
Engaging and accomplished — Sunday Times
Explorer, polymath, friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Jefferson and Simon Bolívar, Alexander von Humboldt was one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. His ideas are as relevant today as they ever were — The Economist, Books of the Year
The real achievement of this wonderful biography is that it is as much a rattling good read as it is an explicit attempt to revive Humboldt's reputation . . . [Wulf] offers us the most complete picture of one of most complete naturalists who has ever lived — New Statesman
Stimulating biography . . . The Invention of Nature elegantly captures a cosmopolitan who straddled the Enlightenment and Romanticism — Country Life
Colourful and engaging — Sunday Telegraph
Explorer, polymath, friend of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Thomas Jefferson and Simon Bolívar, Alexander von Humboldt was one of the greatest scientists of the 19th century. His ideas are as relevant today as they ever were — The Economist
Like Humboldt himself, The Invention of Nature, is scholarly but extremely good fun — The Times, Books of the Year
Wulf does [Humbolt] full justice, bringing his extraordinary and colourful life to a new generation. Based on enormous research, it is the first real biography of this great figure in English and it provides much fascinating detail without overloading the narrative. I can't recommend it highly enough — Morning Star
Wulf takes English speaking readers on a fulsome tour of Humboldt and those he influenced . . . She has travelled in Humboldt's footsteps and made good use of original German evidence. I have much enjoyed my eco-tour through the planet world in her company — Financial Times
In this illuminating, vivid biography, historian and writer Andrea Wulf reveals a great explorer a century or more ahead of his time . . . a cracking read — BBC Wildlife Magazine
A pleasure to read . . . Buckle up and prepare yourself for Andrea Wulf's hugely enjoyable voyage of discovery . . . [a] rip-roaring yarn — Ecologist
Full of vivid renditions of his feats, the narrow mountain paths he trod, the rapid rivers in which he almost drowned, and the exotic ailments from which he suffered . . . much more than an adventure story . . . well-informed and astute . . . among the most attractive features of The Invention of Nature is Wulf's infectious admiration for her subject — London Review of Books
Masterly — Daily Mail
A superior celebration of an adorable figure — Guardian
The decisive factor for the winning book was that it excited and gripped us as judges the most. The Invention of Nature by Andrea Wulf is a thrilling adventure story as much as a science book about a polymath who had an extraordinary impact on our contemporary understanding of nature. It is a book you will find yourself talking endlessly about with friends in the pub — Bill Bryson, chairman of the judges for the Royal Society Prize 2016
Humboldt may not be well known today but he remains very much of our time: his work tackled many of today's big issues like climate change and biodiversity loss and the interconnectedness of nature. Moreover, he was a polymath who was curious about everything and was a superb communicator. His interdisciplinary approach puts paid to the ridiculous notion that science and the arts are separate entities. We should be taking our cues from Humboldt - be curious and be informed by science on the big issues — Brian Cox
When I read The Invention of Nature, long before it was nominated for the Royal Society prize, it was obvious that it was a contender for major honors. It was deeply researched and reported; it told a fine and little known story; it connected the personal to a big idea, and the past to a very pressing present-day concern — The Atlantic
Concise, well-written and extensively researched book . . . vivid, atmospheric and engrossing, a beautiful portrait — Tribune
[A] gripping account of Alexander von Humboldt's synthesis of the science of the natural world — Stephen Curry, Guardian 'Favourite reads of 2016 as chosen by scientists'
In this meticulously researched and beautifully written biography, Andrea Wulf skilfully rescues Alexander von Humboldt from his undeserved obscurity as she chronicles his long and fascinating life — Forbes.com, 10 Best Popular Science Books of 2016
Deep scholarship and entertaining writing style. The Invention of Nature is highly recommended — ICON
Historians of science have long recognized the naturalist and traveller Alexander von Humboldt as a pivotal figure in the history of science, but for too long he has been undervalued in the English-speaking world. This beautifully written biography effectively conveys his significance to a wide audience, in an animated and adventurous narrative that echoes the liveliness of Humboldt's own writings. The award of the Dingle Prize particularly recognizes Andrea Wulf's mastery of the vast range of history of science scholarship on Humboldt and her command of original sources in multiple languages. Timely and significant-particularly given current attacks on climate change science - this is scientific biography at its best — Winner of the 2017 Dingle Prize
John Murray

The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt

Andrea Wulf, Lilian Melcher
Authors:
Andrea Wulf, Lilian Melcher
Hodder & Stoughton

Emily Eternal

M. G. Wheaton
Authors:
M. G. Wheaton
John Murray

On This Day in History

Dan Snow
Authors:
Dan Snow
John Murray

Brief Answers to the Big Questions

Stephen Hawking
Authors:
Stephen Hawking

The final book from Professor Stephen Hawking, the bestselling author of A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME and arguably the most famous scientist of our age, BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS is a profound, accessible and timely reflection on the biggest questions in science.Professor Hawking was a brilliant theoretical physicist, an influential author and thinker, and a great popular communicator. Throughout his career he was asked questions by business leaders, politicians, entrepreneurs, academics and the general public on a broad range of subjects, from the origins of the universe to the future of the planet.BRIEF ANSWERS TO THE BIG QUESTIONS brings together his thinking on the most timeless and the most-timely questions in science:Where did we come from?What is inside a black hole?Is there other intelligent life in the universe?How will we survive on earth?How can we colonise space?Will we ever be able to go beyond the Solar System? For both the scientific and the intellectually curious, this book celebrates the mind, humour, and achievements of one of the most inspiring figures in recent history.The book will include an Afterword from Lucy Hawking and a percentage of all royalties will go to the Motor Neurone Disease Association and the Stephen Hawking Foundation.(P)2018 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

Sceptre

The Consolations of Physics (or, the Solace of Quantum)

Tim Radford
Authors:
Tim Radford

The Consolations of Physics is an eloquent manifesto for physics. In an age where uncertainty and division is rife, Tim Radford, science editor of the Guardian for twenty-five years, turns to the wonders of the universe for consolation. From the launch of the Voyager spacecraft and how it furthered our understanding of planets, stars and galaxies to the planet composed entirely of diamond and graphite and the sound of a blacksmith's anvil; from the hole NASA drilled in the heavens to the discovery of the Higgs Boson and the endeavours to prove the Big Bang, The Consolations of Physics will guide you from a tiny particle to the marvels of outer space.

Sceptre

Suicide Club

Rachel Heng
Authors:
Rachel Heng

They leave us no choice. A 2018 DEBUT TO WATCH OUT FOR AS SELECTED BY INDEPENDENT, GRAZIA, THE BOOKSELLER, THE RUMPUS'Life-affirming . . . "Be careful what you wish for" has never been so chilling, or so gripping' Erin Kelly, author of He Said/She Said'Suicide Club is an original and subversive exploration of health obsessions, consumption, and what makes life worth living.' Independent'An intriguing premise has us hooked' Grazia********What are you doing to help yourself? What are you doing to show that you're worth the resources? In a near-future world, medical technology has progressed far enough that immortality is now within grasp -but only to those who show themselves to be deserving of it. These people are the lifers: the exercisers, yogacisers, green juicers and early nighters. Genetically perfect, healthy and wholesome, one hundred-year-old Lea is the poster girl for lifers, until the day she catches a glimpse of her father in the street, eighty-eight years after their last encounter. While pursuing him, Lea has a brush with death which sparks suspicions. If Lea could be so careless, is she worthy of immortality? Suicide Club wasn't always an activist group. It began as a set of disillusioned lifers, gathering to indulge in forbidden activities: performances of live music, artery-clogging meals, irresponsible orgies. But now they have been branded terrorists and are hunted by the state. And Lea has decided to give them a call.'The future is here. Let's welcome one of its stars. Talented and ferociously intelligent, Heng has produced a glittering debut.' Joanna Briscoe, author of You********'Glitters, darkly . . . a subversive celebration of life.' Nick Clark Windo, author of The Feed 'I always love novels that can combine powerful writing with massive levels of compassion and heart, and Suicide Club is one such book. Its genre-straddling dark heart can't fail to impress.' James Smythe, author of I Still Dream and The Explorer'Heng expertly threads a ribbon of dread through her glittering vistas and gleaming characters . . . A complicated and promising debut' Kirkus 'Clever, compelling and wholly believable, this is a superb novel about our most basic desires' NetGalley Book of the Month 'Readers ... will be enthralled by Heng's highly imaginative debut' Library Journal

John Murray

War Stories

Peter Snow, Ann MacMillan
Authors:
Peter Snow, Ann MacMillan

'Highly readable . . . an intimate and varied account of fascinating stories of people at war' History of WarWar Stories is a fascinating account of ordinary men and women swept up in the turbulence of war. These are the stories - many untold until now - of thirty-four individuals who have pushed the boundaries of love, bravery, suffering and terror beyond the imaginable. They span three centuries and five continents. There is the courage of Edward Seager who survived the Charge of the Light Brigade; the cunning of Krystyna Skarbek, quick-thinking spy and saboteur during the Second World War; the skullduggery of Benedict Arnold, who switched sides in the American War of Independence and the compassion of Magdalene de Lancey who tenderly nursed her dying husband at Waterloo. Told with vivid narrative flair and full of unexpected insights, War Stories moves effortlessly from tales of spies, escapes and innovation to uplifting acts of humanity, celebrating men and women whose wartime experiences are beyond compare.

John Murray

What is Real?

Adam Becker
Authors:
Adam Becker

Every physicist agrees quantum mechanics is among humanity's finest scientific achievements. But ask what it means, and the result will be a brawl. For a century, most physicists have followed Niels Bohr's Copenhagen interpretation and dismissed questions about the reality underlying quantum physics as meaningless. A mishmash of solipsism and poor reasoning, Copenhagen endured, as Bohr's students vigorously protected his legacy, and the physics community favoured practical experiments over philosophical arguments. As a result, questioning the status quo long meant professional ruin. And yet, from the 1920s to today, physicists like John Bell, David Bohm, and Hugh Everett persisted in seeking the true meaning of quantum mechanics. What is Real? is the gripping story of this battle of ideas and the courageous scientists who dared to stand up for truth.

Two Roads

Pie and Mash Down the Roman Road

Melanie McGrath
Authors:
Melanie McGrath

'Filled with hearty goodness and packed together with care, this will go down a treat' Evening Standard'Rich and compelling' SpectatorThe fascinating history of an iconic East End institution from the bestselling author of Silvertown, Melanie McGrath. G Kelly's Pie and Mash has been run by the same family in the Roman Road in Bow for nearly a hundred years; an East End institution and the still point of a turning world. Outside its windows the Roman Road has seen an extraordinary revolution - from women's liberation and industrialisation to wars and immigration - and yet at its heart it remains one of the last traditional market roads of London.Pie and Mash down the Roman Road is the biography of that shop and of the people - customers, suppliers, employees, owners - who passed through it, and continue to do so. Through vivid tales of ordinary lives the book tells the extraordinary story of the community living around the oldest trading route in Britain, and the true heart of the East End.

Coronet

Science and Spiritual Practices

Rupert Sheldrake
Authors:
Rupert Sheldrake
Sceptre

Outskirts

John Grindrod
Authors:
John Grindrod
Nicholas Brealey Publishing

The Greats on Leadership

Jocelyn Davis
Authors:
Jocelyn Davis
Two Roads

Arthur

Mikael Lindnord
Authors:
Mikael Lindnord

THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLERWhen you are racing 435 miles through the jungles and mountains of South America, the last thing you need is a stray dog tagging along. But that's exactly what happened to Mikael Lindnord, captain of a Swedish adventure racing team, when he threw a scruffy but dignified mongrel a meatball one afternoon. When they left the next day, the dog followed. Try as they might, they couldn't lose him - and soon Mikael realised that he didn't want to. Crossing rivers, battling illness and injury, and struggling through some of the toughest terrain on the planet, the team and the dog walked together towards the finish line, where Mikael decided he would save Arthur and bring him back to his family in Sweden, whatever it took.Reactions to Arthur's story:'an incredible journey' Daily Telegraph'Arthur latched onto an extreme sports team during the Amazon race - and what happened next will melt the hardest heart' - Daily Mail

John Murray Learning

Black Sheep: The Hidden Benefits of Being Bad

Richard Stephens
Authors:
Richard Stephens

Richard Stephens became the focus of international media attention in 2009 for his research on the psychological benefits of swearing as a response to pain. Now, fresh from winning the 2014 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, Richard's first popular science book uncovers other pieces of surprising and occasionally bizarre scientific enquiry showing that what we at first perceive as bad can, in fact, be good.More pub conversation than science book, Richard's writing style is very accessible - both engaging and humorous. Think wasting time is bad? Not always! Research shows that taking time out can help you solve difficult problems. And if you can't be bothered tidying up, well fine, research shows that people are more creative in a messy environment. Swearing is rude but research shows that in some situations it can be a form of politeness. Swearing can also be used as a tool of persuasion.Black Sheep casts a slant on a range of human experiences from life to death, sex to romance, from speed thrills to halting boredom and from drinking alcohol (in moderation) to headily excessive bad language. This is a fascinating left-field tour of the world of psychological science. Get ready for the many hidden benefits of being bad that you really won't have seen coming.

Hodder & Stoughton

The World According to Bob

James Bowen
Authors:
James Bowen
Hodder Paperbacks

Ascent of Everest

John Hunt
Authors:
John Hunt

'This is the story of how, on 29 May, 1953, two men, both endowed with outstanding stamina and skill, reached the top of Everest and came back unscathed to rejoin their comrades. 'Yet this will not be the whole story, for the ascent of Everest was not the work of one day, nor even of those few anxious, unforgettable weeks in which we prepared and climbed this summer. It is, in fact, a tale of sustained and tenacious endeavour by many, over a long period of time... We of the 1953 Everest Expedition are proud to share the glory with our predecessors.'Sir John Hunt

Hodder & Stoughton

Pig in the Middle

Matt Whyman
Authors:
Matt Whyman
Hodder Paperbacks

The Elephant to Hollywood

Michael Caine
Authors:
Michael Caine

THE DEFINITIVE, MOST UP-TO-DATE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF BRITISH SCREEN ICON AND LEGEND SIR MICHAEL CAINEIt's been a long journey for Maurice Micklewhite - born with rickets in London's poverty-stricken Elephant & Castle - to the bright lights of Hollywood. With a glittering career spanning more than five decades and starring roles which have earned him two Oscars, a knighthood, and an iconic place in the Hollywood pantheon, the man now known to us as Michael Caine looks back over it all. Funny, warm, honest, Caine brings us his insider's view of Hollywood (where there's neither holly nor woods). He recalls the films, the legendary stars, the off-screen moments with a gift for story-telling only equalled by David Niven. Hollywood has been his home and his playground. But England is where his heart lies. And where he blames the French for the abundance of snails in his garden. A plaque now celebrates him at the Elephant in London. His handprint is one of only 200 since 1927 to decorate the hallowed pavement outside that mecca of Hollywood stars, Grauman's Chinese Theatre. A very British star, The Elephant to Hollywood is the remarkable full circle of Michael Caine's life.If you enjoyed his documentary My Generation, don't miss this definitive autobiography by the very man himself.

Hodder & Stoughton

Tales From the Back Green

Bill Paterson
Authors:
Bill Paterson

When these captivating Tales from the Back Green were broadcast on BBC Radio they were described by The Herald as 'a vividly engaging portrait of a vanished city' and The Scotsman as 'an engaging series fondly and wittily rendered'.Now published for the first time, actor Bill Paterson's stories brilliantly evoke his 1950s Glasgow boyhood. This is a world of intriguing characters and extraordinary events set against the background of the changes and challenges of the post-war era - the nuclear threat, the fading dominance of the kirk, Rock and Roll, the disappearance of the beloved trams, and why penny whoppers were not worth tuppence. As a young surveyor, Paterson was witness to the dramatic transformation of the city, as austere tenements were swept away to make way for new roads and high-rise blocks. Tales From the Back Green is a brilliant realisation of childhood and youth; of memories Paterson describes as 'suspended in amber like Jurassic Park's mosquito, with its DNA still intact.' He wonders whether our memories change from grey to gold as the years pass - do we naturally recall our childhood as a time of optimism and hope?

Coronet

Taken on Trust

Terry Waite
Authors:
Terry Waite