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About the book
  • Published: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448167234
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

Tycho and Kepler

The Unlikely Partnership that Forever Changed our Understanding of the Heavens


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The extraordinary, unlikely tale of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler and their enormous contribution to astronomy and understanding of the cosmos is one of the strangest stories in the history of science.

Kepler was a poor, devoutly religious teacher with a genius for mathematics. Brahe was an arrogant, extravagant aristocrat who possessed the finest astronomical instruments and observations of the time, before the telescope. Both espoused theories that seem off-the-wall to modern minds, but their fateful meeting in Prague in 1600 was to change the future of science.

Set in one of the most turbulent and colourful eras in European history, when medieval was giving way to modern, Tycho and Kepler is a double biography of these two remarkable men.

  • Pub date: 31 January 2013
  • ISBN: 9781448167234
  • Imprint: Transworld Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 384

About the Author

Kitty Ferguson

Kitty Ferguson was born in San Antonio, Texas. She studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York and was for many years a successful professional musician, conducting and performing oratorio, early music and chamber music. In 1986 she moved to England where her husband was a Visiting Fellow and later Life Member of Clare Hall, Cambridge University. During this and many subsequent periods of residence at Cambridge, Kitty Ferguson audited graduated lectures and seminars in the Department of Applied Maths and Theoretical Physics and got to know some of the legendary figures in those fields, including Stephen Hawking. In 1987 she retired from music to devote herself full time to writing about science.

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Praise for Tycho and Kepler

“Kitty Ferguson has written a book that has romance, love, sword fighting, murder, deception, betrayal, trust gone wrong, incredible riches, amazing poverty, reaching for the stars and abject failure... and it’s all one hundred percent true, the most fascinating read about two incredibly interesting people!”

Richard Newsome, Book Critic, 612 ABC Brisbane Radio

“In Tycho and Kepler, we are given the sense of science as a quintessentially human activity, conducted not by disembodied spirits squirreled away in ivory towers but by living, breathing, and distinctly idiosyncratic subjects.”

Los Angeles Times (Best Books of 2003)

“Ferguson doesn’t short-change her readers on the wonder-working details of 16th century European science and astronomy, which was then still close to alchemy and astrology. She is good on the profound differences in character between the rich, lordly astronomer Brahe and the poverty-stricken, middle-class mathematician Johannes Kepler, the differences between Brahe’s observational and technical obsessions and Kepler’s modest, seemingly simple-minded, genius that nagged at questions we take for granted now but which outraged his contemporaries. By putting together Brahe as Smaug the dragon sitting on a fabulous golden hoard with Kepler as Bilbo Baggins who wrests the treasure from him, and expounding the science with conscientious clarity, Kitty Ferguson has written an absorbing non-fiction fable that simultaneously stimulates our imagination and satisfies our scientific curiosity.”

The Times

“Her skill in explaining complex astronomical problems and procedures clearly and succinctly is nothing short of amazing.”

Philadelphia Enquirer


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