Monday, October 4, 2010
And then there is the humor. In a typical passage describing Clergymen who made significant contributions to history, Bryson writes:
"In Dorset, the perkily named Octavius Pickard-Cambridge became the world’s leading authority on spiders while his contemporary the Reverend William Shepherd wrote a history of dirty jokes. John Clayton of Yorkshire gave the first practical demonstration of gas lighting. The Reverend George Garrett, of Manchester, invented the submarine. Adam Buddle, a botanist vicar in Essex, was the eponymous inspiration for the flowering buddleia. The Revered John Mackenzie Bacon of Berkshire was a pioneering hot air balloonist and the father of aerial photography. Sabine Baring-Gould wrote the hymn “Onward, Christian Solders” and, more unexpectedly, the first novel to feature a werewolf. The Revered Robert Stephen Hawker of Cornwall wrote poetry of distinction and was much admired by Longfellow and Tennyson, though he slightly alarmed his parishioners by wearing a pink fez and passing much of his life under the powerfully serene influence of opium."
If The New York Review of Books had a Sexiest Man Alive issue, Bill Bryson would be on the cover every year.
Many readers are familiar with Bill Bryson through his earlier works: A Walk in the Woods, In a Sunburned Country, The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid. For them, a new book by Bryson is always a cause for celebration. A chance to spend a few hours in the company of this charming guide is an opportunity to be savored.
Publisher: Doubleday (October 5, 2010)
Buy This Book: http://doubleday.knopfdoubleday.com/