The Correspondence of John Tyndall, Volume 2

The Correspondence, September 1843–December 1849

Tyndall should be considered an important figure in the history of scientific communication and the public understanding of science. These first three volumes of his collected correspondence (with more to come) are a fascinating social document with significance beyond the specifics of Tyndall's life.
SciComm Book Reviews

The 161 letters in this volume encompass a period of dramatic change for the young John Tyndall, who would become one of Victorian Britain’s most famous physicists. They begin in September 1843, in the midst of a fiery public conflict with the Ordnance Survey of England, and end in December 1849 with him as a doctoral student of mathematics and experimental science at the University of Marburg, Germany. In between, Tyndall was fired from his position in the Ordnance Survey, worked as a railway surveyor at the height of British railway mania, read the works of Ralph Waldo Emerson, Thomas Carlyle, and Lord Byron, taught mathematics, and seriously contemplated emigration to the thriving new city of Cincinnati, Ohio. He began lasting friendships with Thomas Archer Hirst and Edward Frankland, who, along with Tyndall, would eventually become influential figures in nineteenth-century science. The letters also allude to some of the most important events of the 1840s. Documenting a period of political agitation, professional uncertainty, and personal transformation, this volume traces the events that led to Tyndall’s decision to devote himself to natural philosophy.

444 Pages, 6 x 9 in.

September, 2016

isbn : 9780822944713

about the editors

Melinda Baldwin

Melinda Baldwin is the author of Making Nature: The History of a Scientific Journal. She is currently the ACLS Oscar Handlin Fellow, and has held positions at York University, Harvard University, and the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

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Melinda Baldwin
Janet Browne

Janet Browne is Aramont Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. In 2002 she completed a two-volume biography of Charles Darwin that integrated his science with his life and times. Her interest in Victorian science stems from her time as an editor on the Darwin Correspondence Project, Cambridge, England. She previously edited volume 2 of Tyndall’s correspondence with Melinda Baldwin.

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Janet Browne