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Publisher's Summary

Winner of the Costa Biography Award 2015. Winner of the LA Times Book Prize 2015 (Science and Technology). Shortlisted for the Independent Book Week Award 2016.

Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast; there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon.

His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the world's highest volcanoes and inspired princes and presidents, scientists and poets alike. Napoleon was jealous of him; Simon Bolívar's revolution was fuelled by his ideas; Darwin set sail on the Beagle because of Humboldt; and Jules Verne's Captain Nemo owned all his many books. He simply was, as one contemporary put it, 'the greatest man since the Deluge'.

©2015 Andrea Wulf. Recorded by arrangement with Doubleday, an imprint of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC (P)2015 Highbridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

"Dazzling." ( Literary Review)
"Brilliant." ( Sunday Express)
"Extraordinary and gripping." ( New Scientist)
"A superb biography." ( The Economist)
"An exhilarating armchair voyage." (Giles Milton, Mail on Sunday)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Fantastic

What did you like most about The Invention of Nature?

A great read, I learned so much about this great man and his legacy.

What did you like best about this story?

A good easy to read story tying together various scientists as they learn from nature.

What about David Drummond’s performance did you like?

Easy to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Not for me, I needed to put it down, just to think about its message and how it affects us now.

Any additional comments?

Highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to understand more of nature.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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worth sticking with so many revelations

struggled to finish quickly despite being well written. Definitely worth sticking with even if you have to chip away at it. Would have been nice with a different narrator, but was sufficient.

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Forgotten Contribution Still Relevant.

Timely read with Mankinds' reach into Space Living imminent. How can imagination save Nature from Economic Development?