sir fred hoyle’s autobiography

HOYLE, Sir Fred. The Small World of Fred Hoyle. London: Billing & Sons Limited for Michael Joseph, 1986.

Octavo (213 x 136mm), pp. [4 (preliminaries)], 187, [1 (blank)]. (Very light browning.) Original black boards, spine lettered in gilt, dustwrapper, not price-clipped. (Partial inkstamp on lower pastedown, dustwrapper slightly faded on spine, lightly creased at edges, and with a few small spots on flaps.) A very good copy.

First edition. The first autobiographical volume published by the distinguished astronomer Sir Fred Hoyle (1915-2001), ‘one of the most brilliant, colourful, and influential astronomers of the twentieth century’ (ODNB). The Small World of Fred Hoyle covers the author’s youth in Yorkshire and his student years at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was ‘a research student under Paul Dirac (a satisfactory arrangement because Dirac never liked supervising students and Hoyle did not need supervision)’ (op. cit.). The book closes with the award of a research fellowship at St John’s College, Cambridge in 1939 and Hoyle’s marriage to Barbara Clark on 28 December 1939. The Small World of Fred Hoyle was followed by Home is where the Wind Blows: Chapters from a Cosmologist’s Life in 1994.


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