Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations - Susanna Hislop, Hannah Waldron

In “When I Heard the Learn’d Astronomer,” Walt Whitman reported that he “became tired and sick” at all the facts; worried that science would blunt his sense of wonder, he recovered only when he “Look’d up in perfect silence at the stars,” finding them as mesmerizing as ever. They mesmerize still, as Stories in the Stars (Penguin Press, $30), a beautiful synthesis of science and myth, word and image, shows us.  Written by lifelong star-gazer and actor Susanna Hislop, with images by Hannah Waldron, a versatile designer of textiles and works on paper, this is a grand tour of the universe. From the largest constellation, Hydra, to the smallest, the Southern Cross, the authors take us through each of the official eighty-eight constellations (as codified by the lnternational Astronomical Union in 1922). As diverse and surprising as the stars themselves, these entries retell ancient tales, make up new stories, present folklore from cultures around the world, and report what artists from Ovid to Picasso have made of the spectacle. Then there’s the science. Ptolemy, Copernicus, Galileo, La Caille, Hubble—the learn’d astronomers are here, with concise profiles of their lives and the work they did to establish orders of magnitude, measure light years, and determine that the largest single star among those discussed is R136a1, part of the Tarantula Nebula in the constellation Dorado. Whimsical, wise, informative, charming—make what you will of this atlas: it’s all in how you connect the dots.

Stories in the Stars: An Atlas of Constellations By Susanna Hislop, Hannah Waldron (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Susanna Hislop, Hannah Waldron (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780143128137
Availability: Special Order—Subject to Availability
Published: Penguin Books - November 3rd, 2015