Last week, I spotted a book in my favourite TOP SECRET second-hand bookshop and, from the title on the spine alone, I knew that I had to make it mine:
The book's full title is, rather magnificently:
POPULAR SCIENTIFIC RECREATIONS
NATURAL PHILOSOPHY, ASTRONOMY, GEOLOGY, CHEMISTRY
ETC., ETC., ETC.
Translated and Enlarged from "Les Récréations Scientifiques"
Editor of "La Nature"
An advertisement in the back of the book indicates that it was published in October, 1882—just six months after Darwin's death, although the text already refers to the late Charles Darwin. The book is indeed profusely illustrated, and contains many wonderful (and sometimes amusing) insights into the state of science and engineering towards the end of the Nineteenth Century.
I plan to publish selected extracts from the book on a fairly irregular basis over the next few weeks.
Watch this space.