Clouds

Nature and Culture

Richard Hamblyn

Clouds

Richard Hamblyn

Distributed for Reaktion Books

240 pages | 80 color plates, 20 halftones | 5 3/4 x 8 1/4 | © 2017
Paper $24.95 ISBN: 9781780237237 Published July 2017 For sale in North and South America only
Clouds have been objects of delight and fascination throughout human history, their fleeting magnificence and endless variety having inspired scientists and daydreamers alike. Described by Aristophanes as “the patron goddesses of idle men,” clouds and the ever-changing patterns they create have long symbolized the restlessness and unpredictability of nature, and yet they are also the source of life-giving rains. In this book, Richard Hamblyn examines clouds in their cultural, historic, and scientific contexts, exploring their prevalence in our skies as well as in our literature, art, and music.
           
As Hamblyn shows, clouds function not only as a crucial means of circulating water around the globe but also as a finely tuned thermostat regulating the planet’s temperature. He discusses the many different kinds of clouds, from high, scattered cirrus clouds to the plump thought-bubbles of cumulus clouds, even exploring man-made clouds and clouds on other planets. He also shows how clouds have featured as meaningful symbols in human culture, whether as ominous portents of coming calamities or as ethereal figures giving shape to the heavens, whether in Wordsworth’s poetry or today’s tech speak. Comprehensive yet compact, cogent and beautifully illustrated, this is the ultimate guidebook to those shapeshifters of the sky.
Review Quotes
Choice
"Hamblyn shares the fruits of his wide-ranging reading and erudition on the subject. The appearances of clouds in mythology, history, science, literature, art, photography, and music are all featured within this work. There are copious illustrations, including many color photographs and art reproductions, an appendix of 'Cloud Species and Varieties,' and a timeline of the scientific and artistic works treating clouds that are mentioned in the text. Like many of the volumes in this series, the book is a beautifully produced and presented work. It will be an attractive and enjoyable resource for students and a wide variety of readers. . . . Recommended."
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style

RSS Feed

RSS feed of the latest books from Reaktion Books. RSS Feed