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Paul Strathern (born 1940) is a Scots-Irish writer and academic. He was born in London, and studied at Trinity College, Dublin, after which he served in the Merchant Navy over a period of two years. He then lived on a Greek island. In 1966 he travelled overland to India and the Himalayas. His novel A Season in Abyssinia won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1972. Besides five novels, he has also written numerous books on science, philosophy, history, literature, medicine and economics. He is the author of two successful series of short introductory books: Philosophers in 90 Minutes and The Big Idea: Scientists Who Changed the World. His book on the history of chemistry entitled Mendeleyev's Dream (2000) was short-listed for the Aventis Prize, and his works have been translated into over two dozen languages. He is the author of the best-selling The Medici: Godfathers of the Renaissance, Napoleon in Egypt, and The Artist, the Philosopher and the Warrior: Leonardo, Machiavelli and Borgia - a fateful collusion (2009) and The Spirit of Venice: from Marco Polo to Casanova (2012). His recent works include The Periodic Table (2015), "Quacks, Rogues and Charlatans" (2015) and 'The Borgias' (2019) 'Rise and Fall: A History of the World in Ten Empires' (2019). His work on economic history 'Dr Strangelove's Game' (2001) was chosen as a Google business book of the year. Strathern was a lecturer at Kingston University, where he taught philosophy and mathematics. He has one daughter, Oona, who is a writer and journalist. She lives in Vienna with her husband the German futurist and writer Matthias Horx [de], and their two sons.[
Introducing a new series of information-led pocket guides aimed at demystifying a wide and eclectic range of subjects. Called The knowledge each book within the series is written by an expert in the field providing a lively, and informative, introduction to their respective topic.
The formulation of the periodic table, in 1869, revolutionised chemistry in the same way that Darwin and Newton's theories had advanced the fields of biology and physics. The discovery of a relationship between the known elements revealed a link between the scientific disciplines and offered scientists an inkling into the blueprint of the universe. This fascinating book traces the story of the table of elements