Six Facets Of Light
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Six Facets Of Light

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Description

`She's a genius, I believe, because she lights up every subject she touches.' Hilary Mantel

A Spectator Book of the Year

Goethe claimed to know what light was. Galileo and Einstein both confessed they didn't. On the essential nature of light, and how it operates, the scientific jury is still out. There is still time, therefore, to listen to painters and poets on the subject. They, after all, spend their lives pursuing light and trying to tie it down.

Six Facets of Light is a series of meditations on this most elusive and alluring feature of human life. Set mostly on the Downs and coastline of East Sussex, the most luminous part of England, it interweaves a walker's experiences of light in Nature with the observations, jottings and thoughts of a dozen writers and painters - and some scientists - who have wrestled to define and understand light. From Hopkins to Turner, Coleridge to Whitman, Fra Angelico to Newton, Ravilious to Dante, the mystery of light is teased out and pondered on. Some of the results are surprising.

By using mostly notebooks and sketchbooks, this book becomes a portrait of the transitoriness, randomness, swiftness, frustrations and quicksilver beauty that are the essence of light. It is a work to be enjoyed, pondered over, engaged with, provoked by; to be packed in the rucksack of every walker heading for the sea or the hills, or to be opened to bring that outside radiance within four dark town walls.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 320 pages
  • 165 x 212 x 28mm | 667g
  • VINTAGE
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 1784708372
  • 9781784708375
  • 1,102,426

Review Text

"You get a sense that Ann Wroe took great delight in writing this book… It takes an emphatically personal approach… Wroe’s quicksilver prose brings her meditations to glinting life. The attuned eye of the naturalist combines with the poet’s sharpened sensitivity in descriptions as intricately detailed as they are idiosyncratically evocative… As far as this reviewer is concerned, it put the light in delight."
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Review quote

"She is a stylist with a wide-ranging and subtle mind. She's a genius, I believe, because she lights up every subject she touches. Why [ is she] underrated? She is personally modest, and her work doesn't fit into a category. She is too original for the market." -- Hilary Mantel "This is a wonderful book, and almost not a book at all, more a window into another mind... It is a gift Wroe shares. She registers commonplace things with poetic intensity... A rich, radiant ramble... More, please. Yet if she had written an autobiography it would almost inevitably have followed a standard pattern, wheras Six Facets of Light is unprecedented, unpredictable and unforgettable." -- John Carey * Sunday Times * "Ann Wroe is a versatile and adventurous writer, and Six Facets of Light is as delightful as it is unexpected. Here the world's most mysterious medium has found its most passionate hymnist." -- John Banville "You get a sense that Ann Wroe took great delight in writing this book... It takes an emphatically personal approach... Wroe's quicksilver prose brings her meditations to glinting life. The attuned eye of the naturalist combines with the poet's sharpened sensitivity in descriptions as intricately detailed as they are idiosyncratically evocative... As far as this reviewer is concerned, it put the light in delight." -- Rachel Campbell-Johnston * The Times * "[It] lays the writer bare and offers up a host of treasures, some of which will resonate and stick and become part of the reader's own armoury of images and anecdotes... There are some wonderful pickings in this allusive, largely Christo-centric book." -- Honor Clerk * Spectator *
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About Ann Wroe

Ann Wroe is the Briefings and Obituaries editor of The Economist. She is the author of six previous works of non-fiction, including Pilate: The Biography of an Invented Man, which was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Award and the W.H. Smith Award. She lives in north London.
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Rating details

10 ratings
3.5 out of 5 stars
5 30% (3)
4 0% (0)
3 60% (6)
2 10% (1)
1 0% (0)
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