❮PDF❯ ✪ The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies ✑ Author Richard Hamblyn – Horse-zine.co.uk


10 thoughts on “The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies

  1. says:

    Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says The Invention of Clouds is the true story of Luke Howard, the amateur English meteorologist who in 1802 gave the clouds their names cumulus, cirrus, stratus He immediately gained international fame, becoming a cult figure among artists and painters Goethe, Constable, and Coleridge revered him and legitimizing the science of meteorology Part history of science, part cultural excavation, this is not only the biography of a man, but of a moment the cultural birth of the modern scientific era.My Review Late eighteenth century London was an amazingly fertile place, with many concurrent revolutions burgeoning, and knowledge as such becoming an object of trade, almost, it was seen as so very desirable and advantageous to possess a new piece of it The idea of scientific study of the natural world was relatively new, but had already made very solid and quite impressive inroads into the public consciousness No longer was a person pursuing research into the material world liable to excite unwelcome and potentially hazardous attention from religious authorities The world was open at last to apparently limitless desire of humans to ask questions and seek answers.Into that atmosphere was born Luke Howard, a scion of a stolid, solid, money making Quaker accurately called Dissenters family He was cursed with unquenchable curiosity in a religious sect that valued the practical over the notional, and obedience over personal happiness Depressingly familiar, eh what His childhood fascination with clouds was subsumed into the coerced need that his wealthy father felt for Luke to have a trade.Nonetheless, Luke pursued his passion for observing clouds, in time falling in with the other members of his age and class and religion who were among the vanguard of scientific researches eg, William Allen, Richard Phillips, WH Pepys at that moment, largely due to their cultural isolation from mainstream pursuits by faith and the laws of the day His friend and business partner William Allen had founded something called The Askesian Society, where Howard presented a lecture in December 1802 that set the world on its ear He proposed and defended a naming system for the clouds that, with minor extensions, we use to this good day.Not bad for a 30 year old ne er do well per his father who was pathologically shy and unwilling to be famous The hardcover is a beautiful looking little book, in a landscape trim, illustrated with paintings, etchings, and drawings of the clouds it s a nicely written explanation of the science of nephology the study of clouds and its relationship to meteorology the study of weather overall and it s just plain interesting to read about how outsiders and the marginalized have always, it seems, been the pointers to huge advances in the arts and sciences.


  2. says:

    My last book of 2018 It got interesting as it went on, with bits about Napoleon, Goethe he was a Howard fan , Constable, a trip to the Lake District, maybe even a meeting with Jane Austen I skimmed over the Beaufort wind scale chapter, but the rest was quite absorbing.


  3. says:

    Written for the general audience, this book is than just a telling of how clouds came to be named e.g cumulus, nimbus It is the story of the beginning of meteorology, reviewing prior attempts to explain and identify clouds and weather in general, beginning with Assyrian times This recounting highlights Howard s invention of cloud names and identification of the different types of clouds, which is difficult to do as they are evanescent things I was interested to find that so many people in the past have been fascinated by clouds but stumped by what they are, how they arise and dissipate Naming things, that is, distinguishing between objects under study, is the ground step for studying one needs a vocabulary to discuss the objects of study.A second theme is the fact that early scientific study in the 1700 s and 1800 s was actually what we call today citizen science There were no scientists as such, but dedicated enthusiasts about one or another phenomenon that he and it was usually a he women so engaged were hardly recognized other than as assistants, perhaps, to brothers or husbands studied If one had the interest and the self discipline, anyone could be a scientist And so it was with Howard It takes a lot of self discipline to record temperatures, cloud appearances, and other weather phenomena every day Howard also found that urban dwellings and concentration of individual house and manufactory fires raised urban temperatures above those of the country A third theme is that of the spin offs of his study of clouds Once his classification was accepted, with necessary modifications e.g cirrostratus , the study of winds and their nomenclature and how to distinguish one from another began Howard was influenced by the Linnaean system of species nomenclature his classification influenced the nomenclature and description of winds, so necessary for the study of weather, especially at sea.Only 253 pages, but what a lot of difference Howard s fascination with clouds begat


  4. says:

    I would give 4.5 stars if I could as I quite enjoyed this book Not too many people likely heard of Luke Howard, and in essence his only claim to fame is that he came up with a scientific nomenclature of clouds This invention then made the science of meteorology possible and respectable.As a biography, the book is probably too long and Luke Howard s life could be fully covered in a much thinner publication But then again, nowhere in the title does Richard Hamblyn indicate that his book is a biography of Luke Howard rather, the book is very appropriately called The Invention of Clouds , and the subtitle refers to an amateur meteorologist only All in all, Richard Hamblyn did an outstanding job characterizing the cultural, social etc environment of Luke Howard s time, and this made for a very interesting read I enjoyed the book, I enjoyed the writing, and I learned a lot What else can I ask for in a book


  5. says:

    Exactly what it says it is the story of how two hundred years ago an amateur meteorologist developed the language to describe clouds Enjoyable and I definitely recommend it for people that enjoy the history of science.


  6. says:

    One of my favorite history of science books, setting the beginnings of meteorology in its cultural context For a complete review, with quotations, see my blog post here book has also gotten me to revisit Constable the painter and the luminous skies in his paintings.


  7. says:

    I finished this book on an overcast evening By the time I was done, the setting sun had broken through the clouds to reveal a strikingly three dimensional panorama of torn vapor and gold It was a cloudscape, the kind I try to capture in my stories Unborn God and The Wizard s House part of a series I m calling Cartography of Clouds that will be published shortly in Beneath Ceaseless Skies It was also a fitting backdrop to the conclusion of this book on the history of attempts to name and categorize these most fleeting of natural phenomena.The nineteenth century was a heyday of classification schemes in natural philosophy If one could accurately name and organize objects, one could ensure that observations of them were uniform around the world In astronomy this involved attempts to measure star positions as accurately as possible, but it also led to schemes for measuring double star positions and stellar brightness and developing a rational way to divide up the heavens into constellations I discuss a lot of this in my dissertation, which I will be defending very shortly In biology, a similar categorizing impetus gave rise to the Linnaean system of classifying organisms Hamblyn s The Invention of Clouds tells the story of doing the same thing for the changing skies If weather observations were to develop into a uniform science of meteorology, there needed to be some way to accurately designate and compare cloud forms But the clouds are by their very nature always changing and each one seems different What sort of natural scheme of division could be devised for these objects The book focuses one individual, the Quaker merchant and natural philosopher Luke Howard, and how Howard devised, promoted, and propagated the cloud divisions cumulus, stratus, cirrus, etc that have since passed into common and official usage On one level, Hamblyn s work is a fairly simple though at times romanticized tale Howard developed his classification, presented it in a lecture, published it in a philosophical magazine, and ultimately found success It is a straightforward story but one that illustrates what the scientific endeavor looked like in the early nineteenth century This is a popularization of the history of science There s no discussion of previous work done on Luke Howard a figure I admit I had never heard of before this book or discussion of the archives or source materials the author utilized As a popularization though, it does a good job of using Howard s life and work to illustrate how science worked during this period The reader gets a sense of the popular interest in amateur science in particular meteorology and the world of scientific periodicals through which Howard rose to fame More compellingly for me though was what it showed about the impetus for classification and categorizing during this period, the drive to obtain a uniformity of observations that could bring objectivity to nature.Besides Howard s cloud classification scheme, Hamblyn also touches on quantitative measurement for wind speed, though he does not discuss earlier attempts to gather worldwide temperature and barometric observations or the instrumentation that made this possible These early attempts partially coordinated by John Herschel during his time at the Cape of Good Hope had much in common with contemporary attempts to gather global data on the Earth s magnetic field and worldwide tidal levels These were important aspects in the narrative toward uniformity and quantification that Hamblyn is constructing in this work, and I would have welcomed discussion of how Howard s own endeavors related to these activities of big science.Hamblyn represents Luke Howard as a romantic hero of science, someone who brought scientific rigor the clouds without sacrificing their sublime aspects This claim is buttressed by his discussion of the ways in which Howard s work influenced the writings of such varied and prominent figures as Goethe in Germany and the English landscape painter John Constable In parts of the work, however, this romanticization of Howard s life and work is taken a bit far In the sense of literary effect, this is not too much of a problem It becomes difficult, however, when Hamblyn takes liberties with his source materials to connect dots related to the influence or motivations of his characters Phrases like Howard surely thought or certainly felt litter the narrative.Whether you re interested in the history of science or simply want to know about how the clouds were brought within the remit of natural philosophy, this is an accessible and compelling work If you re hoping to learn about the physical nature and structure of the clouds themselves though, this may not be the place to start The focus is on Howard and the human aspect of science showing how the scientific is often tied closely with the ascetic It is a book about the naming of clouds, only secondarily about the physical understanding of clouds Like so many other things in science though, Hamblyn effectively shows how objects must be named before it can be understood.


  8. says:

    This was interesting an insight both into meteorological history and of interest to me Quaker history Excellently researched and structuredreally delves into both the roots of meteorology and Howard s background and personality I read the hardcover edition, the one depicted here, and I cannot for the life of me figure out why someone designed a book that was over an inch thick, about 5 inches high, and 8 inches wide It hurt my hands to hold this book while reading it I m jealous of those who read it in paperback This book also has the dubious distinction of being the first one I had to read with reading glasses .Borrowed from the Philadelphia Yearly Meeting library.


  9. says:

    For a history book, Richard Hamblyn s The Invention of Clouds is highly readable Despite the numerous characters that make an appearance, all the tangential but relevant details, and the breadth of the subject, Hamblyn is able to present a coherent and fascinating narrative Because historical events cannot happen in isolation, by focusing on how the clouds came to be named, Hamblyn has painted a portrait of scientific culture in the early 19th century, the birth of modern meteorology, and the obsessions of the individuals who made it possible.Read the rest of my review here


  10. says:

    Interesante ensayo sobre la vida de Luke Howard, c mo clasific y nombr las nubes, todos lo problemas que surgieron y como se llega a la nomenclatura actual.Todo ello, explicando la sociedad d la poca, como se viv a la ciencia y sus adelantos y las relaciones entre las diferentes personalidades que fueron muchas.


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The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies summary pdf The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies, summary chapter 2 The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies, sparknotes The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies, The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies 63964d9 The Invention Of Clouds Is The True Story Of Luke Howard, The Amateur English Meteorologist Who In Gave The Clouds Their Names Cumulus, Cirrus, Stratus He Immediately Gained International Fame, Becoming A Cult Figure Among Artists And Painters Goethe, Constable, And Coleridge Revered Him And Legitimizing The Science Of Meteorology Part History Of Science, Part Cultural Excavation, This Is Not Only The Biography Of A Man, But Of A Moment The Cultural Birth Of The Modern Scientific Era

  • Hardcover
  • 403 pages
  • The Invention of Clouds: How an Amateur Meteorologist Forged the Language of the Skies
  • Richard Hamblyn
  • English
  • 02 October 2018
  • 9780374177157

About the Author: Richard Hamblyn

Richard Hamblyn studied at the universities of Essex and Cambridge, where he wrote a doctoral dissertation on 18th century topographical writing His first book, The Invention of Clouds 2001 told the story of Luke Howard, the amateur meteorologist who named the clouds in 1802 his other publications include The Cloud Book 2008 and Extraordinary Clouds 2009 , both published in association with