Signature of All Things

ISBN-10: 0670024856

ISBN-13: 9780670024858

Edition: 2013

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Description: A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and CommittedIn The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker—a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia. Born in 1800, Henry’s brilliant daughter, Alma (who inherits both her father’s money and his mind), ultimately becomes a botanist of considerable gifts herself. As Alma’s research takes her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, she falls in love with a man named Ambrose Pike who makes incomparable paintings of orchids and who draws her in the exact opposite direction—into the realm of the spiritual, the divine, and the magical. Alma is a clear-minded scientist; Ambrose a utopian artist—but what unites this unlikely couple is a desperate need to understand the workings of this world and the mechanisms behind all life.Exquisitely researched and told at a galloping pace, The Signature of All Things soars across the globe—from London to Peru to Philadelphia to Tahiti to Amsterdam, and beyond. Along the way, the story is peopled with unforgettable characters: missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses, and the quite mad. But most memorable of all, it is the story of Alma Whittaker, who—born in the Age of Enlightenment, but living well into the Industrial Revolution—bears witness to that extraordinary moment in human history when all the old assumptions about science, religion, commerce, and class were exploding into dangerous new ideas. Written in the bold, questing spirit of that singular time, Gilbert’s wise, deep, and spellbinding tale is certain to capture the hearts and minds of readers. 

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Book details

List price: $28.95
Copyright year: 2013
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/1/2013
Binding: Hardcover
Pages: 512
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.25" tall
Weight: 2.552
Language: English

Elizabeth Gilbert was born in Waterbury, Connecticut on July 18, 1969. She received an undergraduate degree in political science from New York University. After college, she spent several years traveling around the country, working odd jobs and writing short stories. Early in her career, she also worked as a journalist for such publications as Spin, GQ and The New York Times Magazine. An article she wrote in GQ about her experiences bartending on the Lower East Side eventually became the basis for the movie Coyote Ugly. She writes both fiction and nonfiction and her books include the short story collection Pilgrims, Stern Men, The Last American Man, and Committed. Her memoir Eat, Pray, Love, was adapted into a movie starring Julia Roberts and led to Time Magazine naming her one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World in 2008. In 2010 Gilbert wrote the follow-up book to Eat, Pray, Love which she entitled, Committed: A Sceptic Makes Peace with Marriage.

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