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Heavenly Intrigue is the fascinating account of the seventeenth-century collaboration between Johannes Kepler and Tycho Brahe that revolutionized our understanding of the universe and based on new forensic evidence postulates that Brahe was murdered by his assistant.
One of history’s greatest geniuses, Kepler laid the foundations of modern physics with his revolutionary laws of planetary motion. But his beautiful mind was beset by demons. Born into poverty and abuse, half-blinded by smallpox, he festered with rage, resentment, and a longing for worldly fame. Brahe, his mentor, was a flamboyant aristocrat who had spent forty years mapping the heavens with unprecedented accuracy—but he refused to share his data with Kepler. With Brahe’s untimely death in Prague in 1601, rumors flew across Europe that he had been murdered. But it took twentieth-century forensics to uncover the poison in his remains, and the detective work of Joshua and Anne-Lee Gilder to identify the prime suspect—the ambitious, envy-ridden Kepler himself. Heavenly Intrigue is a remarkable feat of historical re-creation.
“An enthralling read. . . . Informative and entertaining. . . . A delight.” –The Washington Post
“Fascinating. . . . Plenty of intellectual enjoyment and reading pleasure.” –Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“Cutting-edge forensic evidence. . . . The story is carefully documented, and the science behind the men’s work is clearly laid out.” –Science News
“Stunning. . . . A brilliant, readable, and original historical work that ought to convince readers that one of history’s greatest scientists committed a cold-blooded murder.” –National Review
“A fascinating story, told simply and elegantly.” –The Washington Times
“Compellingly interesting.” –The Weekly Standard
“Like a historical CSI team, [the Gilders] make a very good case.” –BookPage
“Crisply written. . . . Kepler himself would surely have loved the Gilders’ book.” –The Washington Post
“Clearly prodigious research went into the writing of this book, and all the more merit goes to the Gilders for making such an important part of history so admirably accessible. If you have the slightest interest in how our civilization came into being, then Heavenly Intrigue is absolutely essential reading.” –Crisis Magazine
“Sharp-eyed sleuthing. . . . [The authors’] remarkable detective work will win praise from mystery buffs and historians alike.” –Booklist
“Compelling. . . . Well-written.” –Journal of the History of Astronomy