The Invention Of Clouds: How An Amateur Meteorologist Forged The Language Of The Skies

Paperback | August 1, 2002

byRichard Hamblyn

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Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

The early years of the nineteenth century saw an intriguing yet little-known scientific advance catapult a shy young Quaker to the dizzy heights of fame. The Invention of Clouds tells the extraordinary story of an amateur meteorologist, Luke Howard, and his groundbreaking work to define what had hitherto been random and unknowable structures--clouds.

In December 1802, Luke Howard delivered a lecture that was to be a defining point in natural history and meteorology. He named the clouds, classifying them in terms that remain familiar to this day: cirrus, stratus, cumulus, and nimbus. This new and precise nomenclature sparked worldwide interest and captured the imaginations of some of the century's greatest figures in the fields of art, literature, and science. Goethe, Constable, and Coleridge were among those who came to revere Howard's vision of an aerial landscape. Legitimized by the elevation of this new classification and nomenclature, meteorology fast became a respectable science.

Although his work is still the basis of modern meteorology, Luke Howard himself has long been overlooked. Part history of science, part cultural excavation, The Invention of Clouds is a detailed and informative examination of Howard's life and achievements and introduces a new audience to the language of the skies.

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Winner of the Los Angeles Times Book PrizeThe early years of the nineteenth century saw an intriguing yet little-known scientific advance catapult a shy young Quaker to the dizzy heights of fame. The Invention of Clouds tells the extraordinary story of an amateur meteorologist, Luke Howard, and his groundbreaking work to define what ha...

Richard Hamblyn was born in 1965 and is a graduate of the universities of Essex and Cambridge, where he wrote a doctoral dissertation on the early history of geology in Britain. He lives and works in London.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 8.26 × 5.48 × 0.81 inPublished:August 1, 2002Publisher:Picador USALanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0312420013

ISBN - 13:9780312420017

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The Invention of Clouds is the true story of a shy young Quaker, Luke Howard, and his pioneering work to define what had been random and unknowable: clouds . . . Although his work is still the basis of modern meteorology, Howard himself has been overlooked. Richard Hamblyn's concise work--party history of science, party cultural evocation--is a detailed and informative examination of Howard's life.