The Genius of Time
by Ray Perman
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In his attention to the social context of Hutton's life and work, Ray Perman provides a welcome addition to the still short First Geologist bookshelf. James Hutton: The Genius of Time helps us to appreciate Hutton and the scientific fuse he lit
Times Literary Supplement
It is hard to see how Ray Perman's excellent biography of James Hutton is ever likely to be supplanted as the definitive account of Hutton's life and ideas
This engaging biography offers a rich and sympathetic account of one of the most important intellectual stars of the Enlightenment
Thought-provoking, easy-to-digest, and peppered with tales that could form the basis of a binge-worthy TV drama
Perman deftly picks his way through Hutton's life explaining his complex theories and mind-stretching ideas
History Scotland Magazine
About the Book
Discover one of the Scottish Enlightenment's brightest stars.
Among the giants of the Scottish Enlightenment, the name of James Hutton is overlooked. Yet his Theory of the Earth revolutionised the way we think about how our planet was formed and laid the foundation for the science of geology. He was in his time a doctor, a farmer, a businessman, a chemist yet he described himself as a philosopher – a seeker after truth.
A friend of James Watt and of Adam Smith, he was a polymath, publishing papers on subjects as diverse as why it rains and a theory of language. He shunned status and official position, refused to give up his strong Scots accent and vulgar speech, loved jokes and could start a party in an empty room.
Yet much of his story remains a mystery. His papers, library and mineral collection all vanished after his death and only a handful of letters survive. He seemed to be a lifelong bachelor, yet had a secret son whom he supported throughout his life.
This book uses new sources and original documents to bring Hutton the man to life and places him firmly among the geniuses of his time.
Ray Perman, a writer and journalist for 30 years, was chair of the James Hutton Institute and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, of which Hutton was a founder member. His books include Hubris: How HBOS Wrecked the Best Bank in Britain, The Rise and Fall of the City of Money and The Man Who Gave Away His Island.
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Paperback | Pub: 07 Apr 2022£9.99
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