Led by Erasmus Darwin, the Lunar Society of Birmingham was formed from a group of amateur experimenters, tradesmen and artisans who met and made friends in the Midlands in the 1760s. So called because they met at each full moon, this small band of allies kick-started the Industrial Revolution. Blending science, art, and commerce, the Lunar Men built canals, launched balloons, named plants, gases and minerals, changed the face of England and the china in its drawing rooms, and plotted to revolutionise its soul.
Jenny Uglow's The Lunar Men is a vivid and swarming group portrait that brings to life the friendships, political passions, love affairs, and love of knowledge (and power) that drove these extraordinary men. It echoes the thud of pistons and the wheeze and snort of engines, and brings to life the tradesmen, artisans, and tycoons who shaped and fired the modern age.
Publisher: Faber and Faber