Lapidarium: The Secret Lives of Stones

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Lapidarium: The Secret Lives of Stones

Lapidarium: The Secret Lives of Stones

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Includes the stories of various chemists, archaeologists, jewelers, prospectors, collectors, among others. This book is a fascinating glimpse into the world of precious stones and what they have meant to people over the years. I felt like I was reading a set of blog posts--not systematic, but an agreeable and informative experience overall.

Not yet ready to leave this post-book mental space now lit crystalline and glittering with the fruits of the earth thanks to Hettie’s heady prose, I thought I might ask the author and art historian a few questions–which she kindly answered for me in this blog post https://unquietthings. There are books which really pull together history and science and nature and people but I find this is just not one of them. Referencing science, history, chemistry, physics, literature, philosophy, and pop culture, Lapidarium is an extravagantly storied chamber of stones, the next best thing to having a secret sparkling cache of curios at your fingertips.

Judah doesn't pretend to be writing a true scientific work here, and I'm sure that a geologist would find this a very glancing overview here, but she is instead writing at the intersection of geology, history, art history, and philosophy.

As a broadcaster she can been heard (and sometimes seen) on programmes including BBC Radio 4’s Front Row and Art That Made Us. Unearth the mystery of the tuff statues of Rapa Nui, the lost amber room of Frederick of Prussia and the scandal of Flint Jack. Also points out that the provenances of most of the most famous jewels are fabricated (especially the ones claiming to go back centuries).The author, it seems, banks on the strengths of her background, and while the book promises to engage us with archeology, geology, mythology, literature, science, sociology and philosophy, any interesting cross-disciplinary facts are drowned out by the sheer volume of historical detailing. Inspired by the lapidaries of the ancient world, Lapidarium is a collection of essays about sixty different stones that have influenced our shared history. Amongst these essays exploring how human culture has formed stone and, conversely, the roles stone has played in forming human culture, one will read of the Meat-Shaped Stone of Taiwan, a piece of banded jasper that resembles a tender piece of mouth-watering braised pork belly, There is the soap opera melodrama of Pele’s Hair, golden strands of volcanic glass, spun into hair-fine threads by volcanic gasses and blown across the landscape. We use Google Analytics to see what pages are most visited, and where in the world visitors are visiting from. Our advancement as a species came about by forging stone tools even now the Industrial Revolution was possible because of coal.

There is a picture of each stone at the beginning of each chapter and the page edges are tinted with the colour of the respective stone. It is accepted by you that Daunt Books has no control over additional charges in relation to customs clearance.

It is a series of essays, each with a different rock or mineral highlighted, that delves into history, geology, culture, or anthropology. Lapidarium is a wonderfully informative history of sixty of the most fascinating stones, their many stories and the people and places linked with them. And not to mention the hysterical metaphysical WTFery of angel-appointed wife swaps in the chapter of alchemist and astrologer John Dee’s smoky quartz cairngorm, as well as, the mystical modern-day TikTik moldavite craze vibing amongst those of the witchy-psychic persuasion. Would 100000% recommend it even if you're not the biggest geology enthusiast, this has to be one of my fave books of all time.

It was easy to read, and had plenty of interesting stories pertaining to the rocks that the author chose, but the chapters were very short (one was only two pages) and provided only a brief overview of the rocks in question. A fascinating history of stones and the surprising ways they have - and continue to - shape, influence and inspire us, in a beautiful volume. Writing with humor, compassion, and wit (I cackled out loud more times than I can count), Hettie leads us sure-footedly on our craggy journey down a glittering path of 60 mineralogical eccentricities, ancient souvenirs of deep-Earth drama, and travelogues that cross the strata of time as well as space. The author doesn't have a science background, but surely a consult wouldn't have been out of the question? I had to switch from the book version to the ebook because the print in the hardcover version is just too damned small for my eyes.My only complaint is I wish it had more illustrations and photos of these amazing objects and natural resources. To calculate the overall star rating and percentage breakdown by star, we don’t use a simple average. In Lapidarium, renowned art critic Hettie Judah explores the unexpected stories behind sixty stones that have shaped and inspired human history, from Dorset fossil-hunters to Chinese philosophers, Catherine the Great to Michelangelo.

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