The Curious Life of Robert Hooke: The Man Who Measured London (Paperback)

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Description


“Fascinating. . . . Jardine takes a complex view, according Hooke with the respect and dignity that eluded him for so long. . . [and] with this compelling and empathetic portrait, she succeeds in making a convincing case for his place in history. . . [as] a founding father in Europe’s scientific revolution.”   — Los Angeles Times

The brilliant, largely forgotten maverick Robert Hooke was an engineer, surveyor, architect, and inventor who worked tirelessly with his intimate friend Christopher Wren to rebuild London after the Great Fire of 1666. He was the first Curator of Experiments at the Royal Society, and his engravings of natural phenomena seen under the new microscope appeared in his masterpiece, the acclaimed Micrographia, one of the most influential volumes of the day.

But Hooke's irascible temper and his passionate idealism proved fatal for his relationships with important political figures, most notably Sir Isaac Newton: their quarrel is legendary. As a result, historical greatness eluded Robert Hooke. Eminent historian Lisa Jardine does this original thinker of indefatigable curiosity and imagination justice and allows him to take his place as a major figure in the seventeenth century intellectual and scientific revolution.

About the Author


Lisa Jardine, Commander of the Order of the British Empire, is the director of the Centre for Editing Lives and Letters, the centenary professor of Renaissance Studies at Queen Mary, University of London, and a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She lives with her husband and three children in London.

Praise For…


“[Jardine’s] well-documented presentation of Hooke’s relations with the scientific community of a late 17th-century London he helped to reshape is a tour de force - social history as well as biography.”
New York Times Book Review

“Fascinating … Jardine takes a complex view, according Hooke with the respect and dignity that eluded him for so long …[and] with this compelling and empathetic portrait, she succeeds in making a convincing case for his place in history …[as] a founding father in Europe’s scientific revolution.”
Los Angeles Times

“[Jardine] … convincingly restores [Hooke] to a prominent position in 17th century cultural life, as one of the brilliant polymaths who made London a capital of modern science and as a leader among the dedicated citizens who raised their city from the ashes.”
Newsday

“[Jardine’s] lucid and easy-reading prose paints a vivid portrait of a curiously overlooked historical figure.”
Washington Post Book World

“Hook was undoubtedly one of the great polymaths of his age. From chemistry and clock making to architecture and inventing, mathematics and monuments, the recklessly unspecialized Hooke combined practical genius with a formidable intellect…. Jardine’s biography… is a wonderful testament to … [Hooke’s] unacknowledged greatness, one that spurs us to grant Hooke the recognition he surely deserves.”
Boston Globe

“Sure to become the standard life of Hooke.”
Publishers Weekly

“First rate … both learned and delightfully readable.”
— St. Louis Post-Dispatch

“Imaginative, fluent and scholarly … it helps round out our understanding of a man who is both famous and simultaneously unknown, even unknowable.”
London Times

“Thrilling…Jardine comes up with some startling discoveries…[and] is excellent at placing Wren in the historical and intellectual context of his time.”
Daily Telegraph (London)


Product Details
ISBN: 9780060538989
ISBN-10: 0060538988
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Publication Date: January 18th, 2005
Pages: 464
Language: English