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Readership: Readers of popular science, and those curious about genius and breakthroughs in history of science, psychology, and biography
Andrew Robinson, Visiting Fellow of Wolfson College, Cambridge
Andrew Robinson is the author of some twenty books covering both the arts and the sciences, which have been acclaimed by both national newspapers and specialist journals. They include five biographies of exceptionally creative individuals in a wide range of fields: the physicist Albert Einstein (A Hundred Years of Relativity, 2005), the film director Satyajit Ray (The Inner Eye. 1989), the writer Rabindranath Tagore (The Myriad-Minded Man, 1995), the archaeological decipherer Michael Ventris (The Man Who Deciphered Linear B, 2002), and the
polymath Thomas Young (The Last Man Who Knew Everything, 2006). He is a King's Scholar of Eton College, and holds a degree in chemistry from Oxford University and a second degree from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. For many years he worked in book publishing, television, and journalism, most recently as Literary Editor of The Times Higher Education Supplement from 1994-2006.
"Robinson displays an actute sensitivity to the complexity and nuances of each topic...engrossing and often hard to put down." - David R. Topper, ISIS
"In view of the ephemeral...nature of his subject, Robinson's calm and authority are exemplary." - History Today
"Robinson's ten subjects display his impressive intellectual range." - Peter Forbes, The Independent
"On the whole, this book does serve a useful purpose: it highlights the fact that creative people are complex individuals who focus on theur work to the exclusion of all else." - New
"Fascinating book...The book's real value lies in its masterly overview of various theories promulgated about the causes of genius." - The Sunday Times
"Robinson's book ranges widely and well, and he proves himself adept at explaining complex concepts." - The Sunday Times
Preface: Meetings with remarkable creators
Introduction: The science and art of breakthoughs
Part I: Ingredients of Creativity
1: Genius and talent: reality or myth?
2: Intelligence is not enough
3: Strange to ourselves
4: Blue remembered Wednesdays
5: The lunatic, the lover, and the poet
Part II: Breakthroughs in Art and Science
6: Leonardo da Vinci - The Last Supper
7: Christopher Wren: St Paul's Cathedral
8: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: The Marriage of Figaro
9: 1 Jean-François Champollion: Decipherment of Egyptian hieroglyphs
10: Charles Darwin: Evolution by natural selection
11: Marie Curie: Discovery of radium
12: Albert Einstein: Special relativity
13: Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway
14: Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment
15: Satyajit Ray: Pather Panchali
Part III: Patterns of Genius
16: Family matters
17: Professor of the little finger
18: Creative science versus artistic creation
19: Is there a creative personality?
20: Reputation, fame, and genius
21: The 'ten-year rule'
Postscript: Genius and us
References, Bibliography, Index