Periodic Tales: The Curious Lives of the Elements

By Hugh Aldersey-Williams


Everything in universe is made of them, including you. Like you, elements have personalities, attitudes, talents, shortcomings, stories rich with meaning. This book is packed with stories and unexpected information about the building blocks of our universe.

Year of Publication


Science writing at its best ... fascinating and beautiful ... if only chemistry had been like this at school ... to meander through the periodic table with him ... is like going round a zoo with Gerald Durrell ... a rich compilation of delicious tales, but it offers greater rewards, too -- Matt Ridley Immensely engaging and continually makes one sit up in -surprise Sunday Times Splendid ... enjoyable and polished Observer Full of good stories and he knows how to tell them well ... an agreeable jumble of anecdote, reflection and information Sunday Telegraph Great fun to read and an endless fund of unlikely and improbable anecdotes ... sharp and often witty Financial Times A joyous romp through the chemical elements Today, BBC Radio 4 Not only a cultural history of the elements, it is also a lament to the loss of science as a hobby Economist A flashily brainy book, crammed with literary references and held together by a personal quest to collect as many elements as possible Telegraph 'Elements are fun' is the essential premise of Hugh Aldersey-Williams's new book and by heck he's right ... Aldersey-Williams mourns the fact chemistry isn't really sexy any more; Periodic Tales is a step towards it getting its mojo back Metro **** Imaginative and fun ... almost every page yields a nugget Nature

Author Biography

Hugh Aldersey-Williams studied natural sciences at Cambridge. He is the author of several books exploring science, design and architecture and has curated exhibitions at the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Wellcome Collection. He lives in Norfolk with his wife and son.