Book of the Week on Radio 4 'Gripping' The Times 'Exhilarating' Sunday Times In an age when a storm was evidence of God's wrath, pioneering meteorologists had to fight against convention and religious dogma to realise their ambitions. But buoyed by the achievements of the Enlightenment, a generation of mavericks set out to unlock the secrets of the atmosphere. Meet Luke Howard, the first to classify the clouds, Francis Beaufort, quantifier of the winds, James Glaisher, explorer of the upper atmosphere by way of a hot air balloon, Samuel Morse, whose electric telegraph gave scientists the means by which to transmit weather warnings, and at the centre of it all Admiral Robert FitzRoy: master sailor, scientific pioneer and founder of the Met Office. Peter Moore's exhilarating account navigates treacherous seas, rough winds and uncovers the obsession that drove these men to great invention and greater understanding.
"Richly researched, exciting... It is both scientific and cultural history, of prizewinning potential and as fresh and exhilarating throughout as a strong sea breeze." James McConnachie Sunday Times