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For other authors named Richard Holmes, see the disambiguation page.

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About the Author

Richard Holmes is the author of Footsteps: Adventures of a Romantic Biographer; Dr. Johnson & Mr. Savage; Shelley: The Pursuit; Coleridge: Early Visions, 1772-1804; and Coleridge: Darker Reflections, 1804-1834, which was a 1999 New York Times Book Review Editor's Choice and a National Book Critics show more Circle Awards finalist. He lives in England. (Bowker Author Biography) show less


Works by Richard Holmes

Associated Works

Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1789) — Editor, some editions — 4,022 copies
The Life of Nelson (1812) — Editor, some editions — 278 copies
Selected Poems (Penguin Classics) (1996) — Editor, some editions — 262 copies
First Folio: A Little Book of Folio Forewords (2008) — Contributor — 178 copies
Granta 32: History (1990) — Contributor — 150 copies
Granta 41: Biography (1992) — Contributor — 143 copies
Granta 10: Travel Writing (1984) — Contributor — 89 copies
The Life of William Blake (1907) — Editor, some editions — 87 copies


Common Knowledge



Here's what I wrote on 2010 about this read: "Different type of read for me. The almost-reads-like-a-novel story of British scientists and poets of the Romantic Era. Great history of Banks, who visited Tahiti and lead the Royal Society of Scientists (although they weren't named that yet), William Hershel, the German refugee who discovered Urananus and his sister, Caroline, who discovered massive numbers of comets. Then there's Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein during this period. Others as well; very engaging and educational read!"… (more)
MGADMJK | 59 other reviews | Aug 17, 2023 |
When I loved this book, I absolutely adored it. The sections on Robert Louis Stevenson and Mary Wollstonecraft are tremendous. Unfortunately, I found the Shelley section far less interesting, and the section on Nerval went on a bit long, although it was mostly engaging and rewarding. By writing about biography and art and career and creativity, Holmes is essentially talking about life. Apart from in the Shelley section, I found I could relate to the author or his subject.

Holmes writes beautifully, with very clear prose that invites the reader to empathise.… (more)
robfwalter | 6 other reviews | Jul 31, 2023 |
After reading "Falling Upward" I came across a review of this work and thought it would be an interesting read. It is, but more than a coherent memoir, which the review led me to believe, it is a set of short biographies of diverse people, some famous, some not. Holmes takes the "reflections" on these lives seriously and occasionally speculates on his subjects.
nmele | Jul 25, 2023 |
The Age of Wonder started out wonderfully ! The discussions on the explorations of Tahiti & Africa, as well as the advent of Hot Air Balloon Travel and the telescopic exploration of the heavens, were fascinating ! The scientist in these chapters were all driven, dedicated, and determined to increase mankinds' knowledge on all things relating to the natural world. But half way through the book, the author started focusing on the in fighting amongst the new generation of upcoming scientist, and at this point the book really bogged down and unfortunately, I found myself just plain loosing interest… (more)
kevinkevbo | 59 other reviews | Jul 14, 2023 |



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