Man Who Knew Everything, The Share this with a friend

The Strange Life of Athanasius Kircher


by Marilee Peters
illustrated by Roxanna Bikadoroff

COMING IN OCTOBER

Even the man who knew everything was wrong some of the time.

Athanasius Kircher, a 17th-century German Jesuit and scientist, was one of the modern world’s first scientific celebrities—the Einstein or Stephen Hawking of his time. In 1638, Kircher was lowered into the smoking crater of Mt. Vesuvius to observe how volcanoes work. After thirty years, he published an eight hundred-page volume of his findings—along with theories about fossils, geography, the Earth’s core, dragons, the location of the lost city of Atlantis, and more. Kircher has been described as the last Renaissance man, the first postmodernist, and “the man who knew everything.” This biography celebrates Kircher’s insatiable curiosity, his willingness to ask questions and to suggest answers, even when he sometimes got it wrong. The dramatic story of Kircher’s life is complemented by illustrations that combine a fresh cartoon style with full-color re-creations of seventeenth-century etchings.