Synopses & Reviews
Richard Fortey—one of the worlds most gifted natural scientists and acclaimed author of Life, Trilobite
—describes this splendid new book as a museum of the mind. But it is, as well, a perfect behind-the-scenes guide to a legendary place. Within its pages, Londons Natural History Museum, a home of treasures—plants from the voyage of Captain Cook, barnacles to which Charles Darwin devoted years of study, hidden accursed jewels—pulses with life and miraculous surprises. In an elegant and illuminating narrative, Fortey acquaints the reader with the extraordinary people, meticulous research and driving passions that helped to create the timeless experiences of wonder that fill the museum. And with the museums hallways and collection rooms providing a dazzling framework, Fortey offers an often eye-opening social history of the scientific accomplishments of the nineteenth, twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Forteys scholarship dances with wit. Here is a book that is utterly entertaining from its first page to its last.
In an elegant and illuminating narrative, the acclaimed author of "Life, Trilobite!," and "Earth" acquaints the reader with the extraordinary people, meticulous research, and driving passions that helped to create the Natural History Museum in London. Illustrated.
About the Author
RICHARD FORTEY was a senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London. His previous books include The Hidden Landscape: A Journey into the Geological Past, which won the Natural World Book Prize in 1993. He was Collier Professor in the Public Understanding of Science and Technology at the Institute for Advanced Studies at the University of Bristol in 2002. In 2003, he won the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing About Science from Rockefeller University. He has been a Fellow of the Royal Society since 1997 and was elected as a Fellow in the Royal Academy of Literature in 2009.