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The extraordinary, unlikely tale of Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler, and their enormous contribution to astronomy and understanding of the cosmos, is one of the strangest stories in the history of science.

Kepler was a poor, devoutly religious teacher with a genius for mathematics. Brahe was an arrogant, extravagant aristocrat who possessed the finest astronomical instruments and observations of the time, before the telescope. Both espoused theories that seem off-the-wall to modern minds, but their fateful meeting in Prague in 1600 was to change the future of science.

Set in one of the most turbulent and colorful eras in European history, when medieval was giving way to modern, Tycho and Kepler is a double biography of these two remarkable men.

• • • • • • REVIEWS • • • • • •

“Kitty Ferguson has written a book that has romance . . . it has love, sword fighting, murder, deception, betrayal, trust gone wrong, incredible riches, amazing poverty, reaching for the stars and abject failure, all wrapped in this historical book . . . and it’s all one hundred percent true, the most fascinating read about two incredibly interesting people!”
Richard Newsome, Book Critic — 612 ABC Brisbane Radio
Click here to hear Kitty Ferguson’s TYCHO & KEPLER reviewed

“Ferguson is a fine writer . . . . The scientific concepts are clearly delineated, and the reader will deeply appreciate the many enlightening diagrams and photographs . . . . Tycho and Kepler is a captivating story drawn from the greatest subject known to humankind – the very universe itself.”
— Physics Today

“Tycho and Kepler shows beautifully how the obsessions of the pragmatic, imperious Brahe meshed perfectly with the obsessions of the idealistic, pensive Kepler.”
— Natural History

“Novelists know that Tycho Brahe’s nose was lopped off in a brawl and that he thereafter wore an artificial nose of gold and silver.  His fantastical castle and astronomical research center of Uraniborg (a ‘whimsical bauble’) on a Danish island is the stuff of legend.  Kitty Ferguson doesn’t short-change her readers on the wonder-working details of 16th century European science and astronomy, which was then still close to alchemy and astrology.  She is good on the profound differences in character between the rich, lordly astronomer Brahe and the poverty-stricken, middle-class mathematician Johannes Kepler, the differences between Brahe’s observational and technical obsessions and Kepler’s modest, seemingly simple-minded, genius that nagged at questions we take for granted now but which outraged his contemporaries.  By putting together Brahe as Smaug the dragon sitting on a fabulous golden hoard with Kepler as Bilbo Baggins who wrests the treasure from him, and expounding the science with conscientious clarity, Kitty Ferguson has written an absorbing non-fiction fable that simultaneously stimulates our imagination and satisfies our scientific curiosity.”
— Iain Finlayson, The Times (London)

“Tycho and Kepler’s scientific achievements were nothing less than paradigm altering, and Ferguson’s meticulous blend of biography, history, and science anchors their cosmic discoveries within a vital social context.”
— Booklist (starred review)

“Ferguson continues to wield her gift as a popular science writer in this double biography.  She has a wonderful ability to explain her topic and its significance but also to render the historical background in such a way that the  participants do not seem to be either incredibly farsighted prophets or quaint characters fumbling for explanations.”
— Library Journal (starred review)

“Ferguson’s writing style is lucid and imaginative.  Her description of the social and scientific climate of those times is interesting.  The book is richly illustrated, and Ferguson is careful to provide detailed explanations of concepts that casual readers might not be familiar with.  Tycho and Kepler will be a welcome addition to anyone’s library.  Even if one is not an astronomer or historian, this is a fine story about the lives of two extraordinary men.”
— Mercury

“Her skill in explaining complex astronomical problems and procedures clearly and succinctly is nothing short of amazing.”
— Philadelphia Inquirer

“Kitty Ferguson, having given her heart to two star-obsessed dreamers, has reanimated their clashing personalities, revived the struggle that united them, and reopened the heavens to their genius.”
— Dava Sobel, author of Longitude and Galileo’s Daughter

“Meticulously instructive both on a scientific revolution and the personalities who achieved it.”
— Kirkus Reviews

“Ferguson paints her picture of Brahe and Kepler in broad strokes, placing them among the political intrigues of their times.  Her biography offers glimpses of two men completely enamored of the beauty of the stars and planets and their attempts to describe the world through the eyes of this great love.”
— Publishers Weekly

• • • • • • TABLE OF CONTENTS • • • • • •

Tycho’s Denmark; Tycho and Kepler’s Europe
Aristocrat by Birth, Astronomer by Nature
Behavior Unbecoming a Nobleman
Having the Best of Several Universes
The Isle of Hven
Worlds Apart
A Palace Observatory
Adelberg, Maulbronn, Uraniborg
Contriving Immortality
The Undermining of Human Endeavor
Years of Discontent
Geometry’s Universe
Divine Right and Earthly Machination
Converging Paths
Prague Opens Her Arms
A Dysfunctional Collaboration
“Let Me Not Seem to Have Lived in Vain”
The Best of Times
Astronomia Nova
The Wheel of Fortune Creaks Around
An Unlikely Harmony
Measuring the Shadows
Appendix: Angular Distance, Kepler’s Use of Tycho’s Observations of Mars
Glossary, Notes, Bibliography, Index