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Richard Holmes in Ely

Tuesday 4th June 2013

  • Venue St Peter's Church, Broad Street, Ely, CB7 4AH
  • Doors open 7.10pm
  • Start time 7.30pm
Image of Richard Holmes

The balloon has a thrilling and distinguished history. It was instrumental in the development of meteorology and military reconnaissance, and it was from a balloon that Victorian social researchers most vividly experienced the scale of pollution and class division in their cities. Award-winning biographer Richard Holmes is well known for entering into the physical life of his subjects – so, naturally, when he decided to write a book on the history of ballooning, he took to the skies himself.

Falling Upwards is a true adventure story, about the pioneering balloonists who risked their lives to see the world from above – beginning in the 1780s with the experiments of the Montgolfier family, Holmes relives the flights of General Custer and Felix Nadar and explores the balloon’s place in the literary imagination.