William Shakespeare lived at a remarkable time. New ideas were transforming European thought as the medieval gave way to the modern. Astronomers like Copernicus and Galileo, philosophers like Montaigne, and even playwrights such as Shakespeare, who observed human nature just as intently as the astronomers who studied the night sky, were hinting at the brave new world to come.
A synthesis of science, history, and literature, The Science of Shakespeare introduces readers to a colourful cast of Renaissance scientists and thinkers, exploring how together they changed the world forever.
About the author
Dan Falk is a science journalist, author, and broadcaster. His books include In the Search of Time: Journeys along a Curious Dimension and Universe on a T-Shirt: The Quest for the Theory of Everything, winner of the 2002 Science in Society Journalism Award. He has written for the Globe and Mail, the Toronto Star, the Walrus, Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, and New Scientist; he has also been a regular contributor to CBC Radio's Ideas. Falk recently completed a prestigious Knight Journalism Fellowship at MIT, where he undertook much of the research for this book.
"There is science in everything, even the works of the immortal Bard. Dan Falk's rich and fascinating book brings to light the many ways in which Shakespeare and science influenced each other, from telescopes to blood-letting. A great read for anyone who enjoys words and ideas."
"In this thought-provoking book, Dan Falk explores the intriguing connections between the Bard's writings and the dramatic scientific discoveries of the late Renaissance, introducing us to a fascinating cast of characters along the way."
"This eminently readable book should prove fascinating to both lovers of science and bardolators."
"An engaging tour guide, Dan Falk takes us on a merry romp through Shakespeare's folio, revealing how the Bard might have been influenced by the Renaissance in science going on all about him. An absorbing, new perspective on the scientific revelations of the Elizabethan world."
"A lucid history of early Renaissance science."
"Falk takes the reader on an eventful tour through science in the early modern era. ... The work is well-informed, enthusiastic, and recommended to anyone seeking a new take on the oft-studied Bard."
"Readers will thank Falk for putting Shakespeare and Galileo on the same well-illuminated world stage."
"Dan Falk has written another splendid book. After Universe on a T-Shirt and In Search of Time, he moves back four centures to the science of Shakespeare's day. Falk sheds enormous light on the Elizabethan outlook and particular puzzles in the plays, all the while entertaining us in a most engaging way."
James Robert Brown
"Falk paints an absorbing picture of the world in which Shakespeare moved."
"Dan Falk's book provides perhaps the best guide to the scientific worldview prevailing in the Elizabethan Age. We learn, for example, about what Giordano Bruno did while in England, about Thomas Harriot's telescopic view of the Moon's surface drawn some months before Galileo's, and of the appearance of atoms in several of Shakespeare's plays. Falk's narrative voice is smooth, reasonable, likable."
"Falk has done an admirable job of boning up on the output of the playwright whose works contain lines, hints and metaphors that refer to the latest discoveries."
"Author! Author! Dan Falk is the finest science writer working today. This fabulous book will give equal joy to fans of the Bard and to history-of-science buffs. Note to Horatio: Read this — it'll bring you up to speed."