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Goethe claimed to know what light was. Galileo and Einstein both confessed they didn’t. On the essential nature of light, and how it operates, the scientific jury is still out.
Ann Wroe’s Six Facets of Light is a series of meditations on this most elusive and alluring feature of human life. Set mostly on the Downs and coastline of East Sussex, it interweaves a walker’s experiences of light in Nature with the observations and thoughts of a dozen writers and painters – and some scientists – who have wrestled to define and understand light. From Hopkins to Turner, Ravilious to Dante, the mystery of light is teased out and pondered on.
Ann Wroe is the Obituaries editor of The Economist. She is the author of six previous works of non-fiction, including Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award and the W.H. Smith Award.