Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Non-Fiction: The Science of Shakespeare by Dan Falk

Out in time to celebrate the 450th birthday of the Bard, author, science writer and broadcaster Dan Falk’s The Science of Shakespeare (Gooselane/Thomas Dunne) takes a sharp and engaging look at the science that formed and informed William Shakespeare’s still-beloved works as well as the science that was informed by him.

Falk’s books are accessible. I mean, they are also so much more, but that’s probably the best place to start. Falk tackles potentially mind-numbing topics and makes them not only understandable but enjoyable.

His first book, Universe on a T-Shirt, was about the quest for a unified theory of physics.

Next up, In Search of Time explored the physics and philosophy of time. These are the sort of science-to-philosophy journeys on which careers are made… and broken. But it’s that accessibility factor -- combined with real passion and knowledge -- that make me think Falk will end up in the former category.

In some ways The Science of Shakespeare is really about the history of science, but spun onto the axis of William Shakespeare. It’s a team up that works. What Falk is looking at here are the connections between the Bard and the beginnings of the scientific revolution and, as posited by Falk, how that combination changed the world as we know it forever.

The Science of Shakespeare is a triumph. A personal and yet informative look at science, literature and physics. This is great stuff. ◊

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