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The author of a number of biographies, British author Holmes presents a series of stories which collectively provide an account of the second scientific revolution, which produced a new vision--Romantic science--in 18th-century Britain. Included are chapters on botanist Joseph Banks (1743-1820), astronomers William Hershel (1738-1822) and his sister Caroline (1750-1848), 18th-century balloonists, chemist Humphry Davy (1778-1829), and Mary Shelley's Frankenstein (1818) and the soul. The text also contains an alphabetically-organized list of key individuals in 18th-century science, a thematically grouped bibliography, and some 70 b&w and color reproductions. The book is academic but accessible to the general reader. Annotation ©2009 Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
Upon its publication ten years ago, the first volume of Richard Holmes's life of Coleridge was hailed by Michael Holroyd as "a modern masterpiece, a book that marks a climax in the golden age of modern biography. " The romantic writer who emerges from these pages is unforgettably vivid and unexpected. Holmes gives us a true portrait of unfolding genius -- a man who learns as much from children's games as from philosophic treatises, as much from bird flight as from theology. Unavailable for the last five years, this award-winning biography is being reissued to coincide with the hardcover publication of the concluding volume. The two books represent the pinnacle of Holmes's literary achievement.
"Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage" recounts a story of a mysterious eighteenth-century friendship between Richard Savage -- poet, playwright, and convicted murderer -- and the young Samuel Johnson, an unknown provincial schoolmaster just arrived in London to seek his literary fortune. Holmes shows how the bond between Savage and Johnson revolutionized the art of biography.
Richard Holmes edits a collection of poems by Samuel Taylor Coleridge, a pioneer of English Romanticism.
In this heart-lifting chronicle, Richard Holmes, author of the best-selling The Age of Wonder, follows the pioneer generation of balloon aeronauts, the daring and enigmatic men and women who risked their lives to take to the air (or fall into the sky). Why they did it, what their contemporaries thought of them, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet is a compelling adventure that only Holmes could tell. His accounts of the early Anglo-French balloon rivalries, the crazy firework flights of the beautiful Sophie Blanchard, the long-distance voyages of the American entrepreneur John Wise and French photographer Felix Nadar are dramatic and exhilarating. Holmes documents as well the balloons used to observe the horrors of modern battle during the Civil War (including a flight taken by George Armstrong Custer); the legendary tale of at least sixty-seven manned balloons that escaped from Paris (the first successful civilian airlift in history) during the Prussian siege of 1870-71; the high-altitude exploits of James Glaisher (who rose) seven miles above the earth without oxygen, helping to establish the new science of meteorology); and how Mary Shelley, Edgar Allan Poe, and Jules Verne felt the imaginative impact of flight and allowed it to soar in their work. A seamless fusion of history, art, science, biography, and the metaphysics of flights, Falling Upwards explores the interplay between technology and imagination. And through the strange allure of these great balloonists, it offers a masterly portrait of human endeavor, recklessness, and vision.(With 24 pages of color illustrations, and black-and-white illustrations throughout.)From the Hardcover edition.
In this gripping book, Holmes takes us from France's Massif Central, where he followed the route taken by Robert Louis Stevenson and a sweet-natured donkey, to Mary Wollstonecraft's Revolutionary Paris, to the Italian villages where Percy Shelly tried to cast off the structures of English morality and marriage.
One of the most admired political leaders of all time, Winston Churchill remains an icon four decades after his death. Here, the eminent military historian Richard Holmes offers a remarkable reappraisal of Churchill by examining the early influences that shaped his character. Drawing on sources such as letters between the young Churchill and his parents, Holmes paints the most complete portrait to date of the man who stood up to Hitler and led his people to victory against all odds. From his aristocratic birth to a brilliant but flawed father and a famously beautiful mother, through his struggles at school and his adventures as a cavalry officer in India and the Sudan, Churchill's extraordinary character is richly illuminated in this vivid biography.
Shelley: The Pursuit is a most apt title as this is indeed a biography that goes on the chase to bring together all manner of opinions; both contemporary and historical to weave together the short chaotic life of the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley.
Holmes, a literary biographer and author of Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer, presents 20 essays on his research into major and minor Romantic and Gothic writers and personalities, revealing the unexpected directions and tantalizing side trips that biographical research can uncover. Holmes received the Somerset Maugham Prize for his book Shelley: The Pursuit. Annotation c. Book News, Inc. , Portland, OR (booknews. com)
"Tommy" tells the story of the First World War through the experiences of those who fought it. Using previously unseen letters, diaries, memoirs, and poetry from the years 1914-1918, Richard Holmes paints a moving picture of the generation that fought and died in the mud of Flanders. He follows men whose mental health was forever destroyed by shell shock, women who lost husbands and brothers in the same afternoon, and those who wrote at lunchtime and died before tea. Groundbreaking and critically-acclaimed, this book tells the real story of trench warfare, the strength and fallibility of the human spirit, the individuals behind an epic event, and their legacy.
In this compelling biography, Richard Holmes charts the life of the Duke of Wellington, Britain's greatest soldier. He follows Wellington's remarkable career, from the ruins of his family seat in Ireland and the plains of India where he first gained his reputation as a brilliant commander, to the horrors of the Peninsular War and Waterloo. Holmes sees Wellington as a brilliant figure, idealistic in politics, War and Waterloo. Holmes sees Wellington as a brilliant figure, idealistic in politics, cynical in love, a man of enormous courage and iron duty often sickened by the horrors of war.
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