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The Northern Lights

by Lucy Jago


In this non-fiction debut, Lucy Jago tells the fascinating and moving story of visionary scientist, Kristian Birkeland, the man whose quest to solve the mystery of the Northern Lights cost him his sanity, and ultimately his life.

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  • Date of publication:
  • 2 May 2002
  • Publisher:
  • Penguin

Discovered dead in a Japanese hotel room in June 1917, in suspicious circumstances, the tragedy and mystery of Birkeland’s life is a hitherto untold drama, set against some of the most dramatic landscapes on Earth, from the ice mountains of Northern Norway to the deserts of Africa, at a time of political upheaval and war. Misunderstood in his lifetime, Birkeland’s ideas about our universe are now considered brilliantly prophetic. The story of how he arrived at them, sacrificing love and happiness in the pursuit of knowledge, is as stirring as any in modern science.