His Invention So Fertile

His Invention So Fertile A Life of Christopher Wren

Paperback (02 May 2002)

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Synopsis

Christopher Wren (1632-1723) was the greatest architect Britain has ever known. But he was more than that. A founder of the Royal Society, he mapped the moon and the stars, investigated the problem of longitude and the rings of Saturn, and carried out groundbreaking experiments into the circulation of the blood. His observations on comets, meteorology and muscular action made vital contributions to the developing ideas of Newton, Halley and Boyle.

His Invention So Fertile presents the first complete picture of this towering genius: the Surveyor-General of the King's Works, running the nation's biggest architectural office and wrestling with corruption and interference; the pioneering anatomist; the mathematician, devising new navigational instruments and lecturing on planetary motion.

It also shows us the man behind the legend. Wren was married and widowed twice, he fathered a mentally handicapped child, quarrelled with his colleagues and fell foul of his employers. He scrambled over building sites and went to the theatre and drank in coffee-houses. The book explores what it was like to be at Oxford during the Commonwealth, as a generation struggled to make sense of a society in chaos; it recreates the tensions which tore apart the court of James II; it brings to life the petty jealousies that formed an integral part of both the building world and scientific milieu of the Royal Society.

Above all, His Invention So Fertile makes clear to the general reader and the art historian just why Wren remains a cultural icon - both a creation and a creator of the world he lived in.

About the Publisher

Pimlico

Pimlico

Established in 1991 Pimlico has become leading paperback publisher of specialised, award-winning, high-end non-fiction. Areas of interest cover Politics, for example Bernard Donohue?s Downing Street Diaries Art, such as John Richardson?s prize-winning biography of Picasso Biography, for example Norman Sherry?s 3-part acclaimed biography of Graham Greene, and History, with authors such as Gillian Tindall, Charles Freeman and Anthony Read. Readable, informative, entertaining and important, Pimlico ? with its easily recognizable spines and innovative design ? publishes books that matter.

Book information

ISBN: 9780712673648
Publisher: Random House
Imprint: Pimlico
Pub date:
DEWEY: 720.92
DEWEY edition: 21
Language: English
Number of pages: 462
Weight: 692g
Height: 231mm
Width: 155mm
Spine width: 32mm