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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.