John Wiley & Sons A History of the Wind Cover Everyone knows the wind's touch, its presence, its force. Sometimes it roars and howls, at other tim.. Product #: 978-1-5095-5205-4 Regular price: $17.66 $17.66 In Stock

A History of the Wind

Corbin, Alain

Translated by Peniston, William


1. Edition November 2022
170 Pages, Hardcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-5095-5205-4
John Wiley & Sons

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Everyone knows the wind's touch, its presence, its force. Sometimes it roars and howls, at other times we hear its wistful sighs and feel its soothing caresses. Since antiquity humans have borne witness to the wind, and relied on it to navigate the seas. And yet despite its presence at the heart of human experience, the wind has evaded scrutiny in our chronicles of the past.

In this brilliantly original volume, Alain Corbin sets out to illuminate the wind's storied history. He shows how, prior to the nineteenth century, the noisy emptiness of wind was only experienced and described according to the sensations it provoked. Imagery of the wind featured prominently in literature, from the ancient Greek epics through the Renaissance and Romanticism to the modern era, but little was known about where the wind came from and where it went. It was only in the late eighteenth century, with the discovery of the composition of air, that scientists began to understand the nature of wind and its trajectories. From that point on, our understanding of the wind was shaped by meteorology, which mapped the flows of winds and currents around the globe. But while science has enabled us to understand the wind and, in some respects, to harness it, the wind has lost nothing of its mysterious force. It still has the power to destroy, and in the wind's ethereal presence we can still feel its connection with creation and death.

Translator's Note

Chapter 1: The Inscrutable Wind
Chapter 2: The Winds of the Common Folk
Chapter 3: The Aeolian Harp
Chapter 4: New Experiences of the Wind
The Balloon "At the Head of the Wind"
The Sandstorm in the Desert
The Wind in the Sequoias
Chapter 5: The Tenacity of the Aeolian Imagination in the Bible
Chapter 6: The Epic Power of the Wind
Chapter 7: The Fantasy of the Wind in the Enlightenment
Chapter 8: Gentle Breezes and Caressing Currents
Chapter 9: The Enigma of the Wind in the Nineteenth Century
Chapter 10: Short Strolls in the Wind of the Twentieth Century
Chapter 11: The Wind, the Theater, and Cinema

Alain Corbin is Emeritus Professor of History at the University of Paris I, Pantheon-Sorbonne.

A. Corbin, University of Paris I