April 4, 2023
3 color photos, 17 b&w halftones, 13 color halftones
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
$25.00 USD, £18.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Stone Breaker

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

Percival probed the volcanic origins of rock via geology and the seething nature of his psyche via poetry

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.

About the Author

KATHLEEN L. HOUSLEY (Glastonbury, CT) is the author of nine books including Black Sand: The History of Titanium and The Scientific World of Karl-Friedrich Bonhoeffer: the Entanglement of Science, Religion, and Politics in Nazi Germany.


"Stone Breaker is a fascinating and beautifully written biography. Using the unusual mind of James Gates Percival as an exemplar, Kathleen Housley deftly weaves together the science, art, and literature of early 19th century New England. A wonderful read."—Robert M. Thorson, author of Stone by Stone and professor of Geosciences, University of Connecticut

"A wonderful, carefully researched biography of this deeply impressive, multidisciplinary intellectual."—John Hay, associate professor, University of Nevada, Las Vegas

"Stone Breaker is a lively and engaging biography of a fascinating man. This is a captivating portrait of a brilliant and relentless geologist and polymath whose work helped lay the foundation for generations of Earth scientists working in New England."—Maureen D. Long, Bruce D. Alexander '65 Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Yale University

9780819500281 : stone-breaker-housley
April 4, 2023
$25.00 USD

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