Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air

by

Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0007467257
  • 9780007476510
  • 9780007467259

Lose yourself in the clouds with bestselling and prize-winning biographer and science writer Richard Holmes in this glorious history of hot-air ballooning.

Hot-air balloons have drifted through Richard Holmes’s work for many years. And now, in this heart-lifting book he tells the story of these ineffably romantic floating machines and the reckless invention of the adventurers who flew them.

His subject is flight itself and the pioneer generation of rival aviators. Ballooning offered a new vision of the earth. The world pondered for the first time reliable weather prediction, observation of the stars from an aerial point of view and the exploration of remote continents. Those in previous centuries who dreamt of flight believed it would open up the secrets of heaven. In fact, as Richard Holmes shows, it revealed the secrets of the world beneath.

  • HarperCollins Publishers; April 2013
  • ISBN 9780007467259
  • Read online, or download in secure EPUB format
  • Title: Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air
  • Author: Richard Holmes
  • Imprint: William Collins
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0007467257
  • 9780007476510
  • 9780007467259

In The Press

SELECTED AS A BOOK OF THE YEAR BY:

JIM CRACE, GUARDIAN
‘A whole wide world of significance’

SARAH SANDS, NEW STATESMAN
‘Sheer delight’

MICHAEL PRODGER, EVENING STANDARD
‘Picaresque history’

DAN JONES, DAILY TELEGRAPH
‘Tremendously inventive’

LEV GROSSMAN, TIME MAGAZINE
‘Thrilling history’

CHLOE SCHAMA, NEW REPUBLIC
‘Unadulterated delight’

KIRKUS
‘Gripping’

MAIL ON SUNDAY
‘Tragic’

‘As compulsively digestible as the Internet, and yet it is rounder and warmer, and packed with more obscure stories than you would learn if you combed the Web for months. A carnival of historical delights … ‘Falling Upwards’ sneaks the trajectory of mankind into under three hundred and fifty pages. You may not notice it at the time, but what he is doing is changing the game’ New Yorker

‘Endlessly exhilarating … packed full of swashbuckling stories, as well as fascinating historical accounts of the use of balloons. It is also a singularly beautiful book, wonderfully designed and illustrated and quite clearly a product of love’ Mail on Sunday

‘A book as delightful as it is unexpected … [an] extraordinary cabinet of drifting aerial wonderment, a book that will linger and last, as it floats ever upward in the mind’ Simon Winchester, Wall Street Journal

‘What Holmes teases out … is that ballooning gave us, quite literally, a different point of view … This exhilarating book, wonderfully written, generously illustrated and beautifully published, captures all that and more’ Spectator

‘Holmes conjures an extraordinarily vivid, violent, thrilling history, full of bizarre personalities, narrow escapes and fatal plunges. A peerless prose artist, infectiously curious’ Time Magazine

‘Holmes presents a full-blown, lyrical history of the same subject, investigating the strangeness, detachment and powerful romance of ‘falling upwards’ into a seemingly alien and uninhabitable element. He lovingly charts … a history full of awe and inefficiency … A truly masterly storyteller’ Evening Standard

About The Author

Richard Holmes is the author of the prize-winning and bestselling ‘The Age of Wonder’, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize and won the Royal Society Prize for Science Books (UK) and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction (USA). He has written many other books including ‘Falling Upwards’, an uplifting account of the pioneering generation of balloon aeronauts, which was one of Time Magazine’s Top 10 Non-Fiction Books of 2013. His trilogy exploring the Romantic Biographer at work, begun with the classic ‘Footsteps’, and its companion volume ‘Sidetracks’, is now completed by ‘This Long Pursuit’. His first biography, ‘Shelley: The Pursuit’, won the Somerset Maugham Prize; ‘Coleridge: Early Visions’ won the 1989 Whitbread Book of the Year Award; ‘Coleridge: Darker Reflections’ won the Duff Cooper and the Heinemann Awards; ‘Dr Johnson & Mr Savage’ won the James Tait Black Prize. He holds honorary doctorates from the Universities of East Anglia, East London and Kingston, and was Professor of Biographical Studies at the University of East Anglia from 2001 to 2007. He is an Honorary Fellow of Churchill College, Cambridge, a Fellow of the British Academy, and was awarded the OBE in 1992. He lives in London and Norfolk with the novelist Rose Tremain.

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 0007467257
  • 9780007476510
  • 9780007467259