Synopses & Reviews
Antoine Lavoisier reinvented chemistry, overthrowing the long-established principles of alchemy and inventing an entirely new terminology, one still in use by chemists. Madison Smartt Bell's enthralling narrative reads like a race to the finish line, as the very circumstances that enabled Lavoisier to secure his reputation as the father of modern chemistry--a considerable fortune and social connections with the likes of Benjamin Franklin--also caused his glory to be cut short by the French Revolution.
"A two-part thriller. The first describes Lavoisier's successful effort to win the race to explain how chemical processes work; the second, his pursuit by French revolutionaries." Jacob Heilbrunn
"Bell succeeds, not only in depicting the rigorousness of Lavoisier's method, but also in conveying a sense of his character, as revealed most affectingly by the quietly heroic composure with which he faced his own death." New York Times Book Review
An account of the eighteenth century's race to understand the periodic elements traces the work of Enlightenment-era scientist Antoine Lavoisier, whose tireless efforts to define and explain chemical processes resulted in the establishment of a chemical language still in use today. Reprint.
"Fresh . . . solid . . . full of suspense and intrigue."--
About the Author
Madison Smartt Bell is the author of twelve novels, his most recent being The Stone That the Builder Refused. He teaches at Goucher College and lives in Baltimore, Maryland.