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The Atmosphere of Heaven: The Unnatural Experiments of Dr Beddoes and His Sons of Genius

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The Atmosphere of Heaven: The Unnatural Experiments of Dr Beddoes and His Sons of Genius Cover

 

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Publisher Comments:

At the Pneumatic Institution in Bristol, England, founded in the closing years of the eighteenth century, dramatic experiments with gases precipitated not only a revolution in scientific medicine but also in the history of ideas. Guided by the energy of maverick doctor Thomas Beddoes, the institution was both laboratory and hospitaland#8212;the first example of a modern medical research institution. But when its members discovered the mind-altering properties of nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, their experiments devolved into a pioneering exploration of consciousness with far-reaching and unforeseen effects.

This riveting book is the first to tell the story of Dr. Beddoes and the brilliant circle who surrounded him: Erasmus Darwin, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, and Robert Southey, who supported his ideas; James Watt, who designed and built his laboratory; Thomas Wedgwood, who funded it; and the dazzling young chemistry assistant, Humphry Davy, who identified nitrous oxide and tested it on himself, with spectacular results. Medical historian Mike Jay charts the chaotic rise and fall of the institution in this fast-paced account, and reveals its crucial influenceand#8212;on modern drug culture, attitudes toward objective and subjective knowledge, the development of anesthetic surgery, and the birth of the Romantic movement.

About the Author

Mike Jay has written extensively on scientific and medical history and is a specialist in the study of drugs. His books include the award-winning The Air Loom Gang: The Strange and True Story of James Tilly Matthews and His Visionary Madness. He lives in London.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780300168914
Author:
Jay, Mike
Publisher:
Yale University Press
Subject:
History
Subject:
Modern - 19th Century
Subject:
Scientists - General
Subject:
Health and Medicine-History of Medicine
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20101131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
24 b/w illus.
Pages:
304

Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » History of Medicine
History and Social Science » Military » General History
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

The Atmosphere of Heaven: The Unnatural Experiments of Dr Beddoes and His Sons of Genius New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Yale University Press - English 9780300168914 Reviews:
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