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“Succeeds Famously in Evoking the Excitement, Variety and Wide-Open Sense of Possibility of the Scientific Life in 19th Century Britain” — American Scientist

A wonderful review just out in American Scientist!!

“In Snyder’s able hands, the intertwined lives of the four Cambridge friends become the stuff of a Trollope novel. . . . she deftly interweaves snippets from the letters with lucid explanations of the science involved and with scenes from 19th-century British life. . . . Focusing on the correspondence also allows Snyder to blend intellectual and family registers, just as her protagonists did in their letters. She is alert to nuance and sensitive to what is unsaid as well as said. . . . Snyder succeeds famously in evoking the excitement, variety and wide-open sense of possibility of the scientific life in 19th-century Britain . . . splendidly evoked in this engaging book.”

The review itself is long, beautifully written, and filled with tidbits from the book; it can be read here.

The review is by Lorraine Daston, historian of science and Executive Director of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science in Berlin.