Scholars and Students Respond to Richard Holmes’ The Age of Wonder
Richard Holmes’ popular book The Age of Wonder: How the Romantic Generation Discovered the Beauty and Terror of Science (Knopf, 2009) captured the imagination of the nonacademic reader; it was one of the New York Times’ Top Ten Books of 2009, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award, and winner of the Royal Society Prize for Science Books. The appeal of Holmes’ book is its interdisciplinary subject; that is, The Age of Wonder does not merely tell the life-stories of idiosyncratic scientists but uses those biographies as a way of telling the story of the interdisciplinary foundations of modern science: the musicians William and Caroline Herschel who mapped the stars and discovered Uranus, the poet-chemist Humphry Davy.
Nonetheless, The Age of Wonder omits the more complex contexts that scholarly accounts offer of the inextricable relations between science and the arts in this foundational era. This Collection offers readers a view of those contexts, including published scholarship on this subject, commentary on Holmes’ book, as well as links to related resources, texts, and images around the web for readers who want to explore further. Click Get Involved if you want to contribute to this Collection.