In The Age of Wonder, Richard Holmes investigates the earliest ideas of deep time and space, and the explorers of "dynamic science," of an infinite, mysterious Nature waiting to be discovered. This age of exploration extended to great writers and poets as well as scientists, all creators relishing in moments of high exhilaration, boundary-pushing, and discovery.
Holmes shows how great ideas and experiments -- both successes and failures—were born of singular and often lonely dedication, and how religious faith and scientific truth collide.
Paul Holdengräber is the Director of LIVE from the NYPL.
Richard Holmes is the author of Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer, Sidetracks: Explorations of a Romantic Biographer; Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage, Shelley: The Pursuit, Coleridge: Early Visions and Coleridge: Darker Reflections.
Richard Holmes, author of The Age of Wonder, introduces a narrative technique he dubs "the Titanic principle," which is based on the popular James Cameron film.
The computer-generated model of the Titanic sinking during the film's opening scene, says Holmes, sets up a narrative that solidifies the "human impact" of the disaster when it actually unfolds on screen.
(born , Feb. 13, 1743, London, Eng.died June 19, 1820, Isleworth, London) British explorer and naturalist. After studying at Oxford, Banks inherited a fortune that allowed him to travel extensively, collecting plant and natural history specimens. He outfitted and accompanied James Cook's voyage around the world (176871). Particularly interested in economic plants and their introduction from one country to another, he was the first to suggest the identity of the wheat rust and barberry fungus (1805); he was also the first to show that marsupial mammals are more primitive than placental mammals. He served as president of the Royal Society from 1778 to 1820, and, as unofficial director of Kew Gardens, he transformed it into a major botanical institution. His herbarium, one of the most important in existence, and his library, a major collection of works on natural history, are now at the British Museum.
Literary, artistic, and philosophical movement that began in Europe in the 18th century and lasted roughly until the mid-19th century. In its intense focus on the individual consciousness, it was both a continuation of and a reaction against the Enlightenment. Romanticism emphasized the individual, the subjective, the irrational, the imaginative, the personal, the spontaneous, the emotional, the visionary, and the transcendental. Among its attitudes were a deepened appreciation of the beauties of nature; a general exaltation of emotion over reason and of the senses over intellect; a turning in upon the self and a heightened examination of human personality; a preoccupation with the genius, the hero, and the exceptional figure; a new view of the artist as a supremely individual creator; an emphasis on imagination as a gateway to transcendent experience and spiritual truth; a consuming interest in folk culture, national and ethnic cultural origins, and the medieval era; and a predilection for the exotic, the remote, the mysterious, the weird, the occult, the monstrous, the diseased, and even the satanic. See alsoclassicism and Transcendentalism.