The Signature of All Things

The Signature of All Things

Paperback

By (author) Elizabeth Gilbert

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 512 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 232mm x 42mm | 780g
  • Publication date: 10 October 2013
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1408841908
  • ISBN 13: 9781408841907
  • Edition statement: Export/Airside ed
  • Sales rank: 7,567

Product description

5 January 1800. At the beginning of a new century, Alma Whittaker is born into a perfect Philadelphia winter. Her father, Henry Whittaker, is a bold and charismatic botanical explorer whose vast fortune belies his lowly beginnings as a vagrant in Sir Joseph Banks's Kew Gardens and as a deck hand on Captain Cook's HMS Resolution. Alma's mother, a strict woman from an esteemed Dutch family, has a knowledge of botany equal to any man's. It is not long before Alma, an independent girl with a thirst for knowledge, comes into her own within the world of plants and science. But as her careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction. The Signature of All Things is a big novel, about a big century. It soars across the globe from London, to Peru, to Philadelphia, to Tahiti, to Amsterdam. Peopled with extraordinary characters - missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses and the quite mad - above all it has an unforgettable heroine in Alma Whittaker, a woman of the Enlightened Age who stands defiantly on the cusp of the modern.

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Author information

Elizabeth Gilbert is the acclaimed author of five books of fiction and non-fiction. She is most well known for her 2006 bestseller Eat, Pray, Love, which has sold over ten million copies worldwide and was made into a film starring Julia Roberts. Her short story collection Pilgrims was nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Award, her novel Stern Men was a New York Times Notable Book and The Last American Man was a finalist for the National Book Award. Her most recent work, Committed, was a Number One New York Times bestseller. Elizabeth Gilbert lives in New Jersey. www.elizabethgilbert.com Find Elizabeth Gilbert on Facebook and follow her on Twitter @GilbertLiz

Review quote

Unlike anything else she has ever written ... Its prose has the elegant sheen of a 19th-century epic, but its concerns - the intersection of science and faith, the feminine struggle for fulfilment - are especially modern -- Steve Almond International Herald Tribune The story of Alma Whittaker's journey of discovery has irresistible momentum -- Helen Dunmore The Times Ms Gilbert has established herself as a straight-up storyteller who dares us into adventures of worldly discovery, and this novel stands as a winning next act ... A bracing homage to the many natures of genius and the inevitable progress of ideas, in a world that reveals its best truths to the uncommonly patient minds -- Barbara Kingsolver International Herald Tribune Charming and compelling ... A big novel in all senses - extensively researched, compellingly readable and with a powerful charm that will surely propel it towards the bestseller lists Daily Telegraph Gilbert has written the novel of a lifetime O, The Oprah Magazine Riveting -- Eithne Farry Marie Claire Sumptuous ... Gilbert's prose is by turns flinty, funny, and incandescent New Yorker Quite simply one of the best novels I have read in years ... a bejewelled, dazzling novel -- Elizabeth Day Observer Readers prepared to enter Gilbert Time will be rewarded: she is an unflaggingly curious writer, prone to delightful touches ... Gilbert's period interests seem boundless - she explores everything from self-sacrifice, to homosexuality, Darwinism and Victorian pornography ... This is a novel to be chewed over, slowly -- Lucy Atkins Sunday Times A botanical odyssey through the nineteenth century, global in ambition, revelling in the period's insatiable curiosity about the world ... a tall tale, told with verve and wit Guardian Filled with dazzling storytelling -- Susie Boyt Financial Times The book's locales are captured in glittering portraits ... Breathtaking ... The Signature of All Things is a bracing homage to the many natures of genius and the inevitable progress of ideas, in a world that reveals its best truths to the uncommonly patient minds -- Barbara Kingsolver International Herald Tribune A charming and compelling fictional journey of self-discovery ... This is a big novel in all senses - extensively researched, compellingly readable and with a powerful charm that will surely propel it towards the bestseller lists -- Jane Shilling Daily Telegraph Viscerally written -- Eleanor Mills Sunday Times Gilbert writes superbly well -- Wendy Holden Daily mail An intricate, beautifully written historical novel ... A passionate paean to the 19th-century women of science who strove for achievement against the odds -- Anita Sethi Metro Gilbert's observations, of both characters and locations, make this an unexpected joy and in Alma she has created a truly unforgettable heroine -- Anita Chaudhuri Irish Examiner