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Stone Breaker (Hardback)

The Poet James Gates Percival and the Beginning of Geology in New England

P&S History > Humanities > Biography & Memoirs

Imprint: Wesleyan University Press
Series: The Driftless Connecticut Series & Garnet Books
Pages: 206
Illustrations: 3 color photos, 17 b&w halftones, 13 color halftones
ISBN: 9780819500281
Published: 29th February 2024
Casemate UK Academic

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Stone Breaker is an in-depth, accessible biography of a true American polymath, James Gates Percival. A poet, linguist, and unstable savant, Percival was also a brilliant geologist who walked thousands of miles crisscrossing first Connecticut and then Wisconsin to lay the foundation for the work of generations of Earth scientists. Exploring the confluences of literature, art, and geology, Kathleen L. Housley reveals how one of most famous poets of the 1820's became a renowned geologist with his groundbreaking 1843 work Report on the Geology of the State of Connecticut. 35 color images include historic photographs and paintings of the Connecticut landscape.

"A wonderful, carefully researched biography of this deeply impressive, multidisciplinary intellectual."

~John Hay, associate professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

"Housley's insightful and readable biography illuminates the potent combination of poetry and science that defined Percival's undeservedly neglected life and works, offering a new perspective on this critical moment when the true scale of the Earth's history was coming into focus."

~Clare Stainthorp, author of Constance Naden: Scientist, Philosopher, Poet

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