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‘Superbly illuminates the man, the time, and the everlasting quest for knowledge’ Observer Johannes Kepler, born in 1571 in south Germany, was one of the world’s greatest mathematicians and astronomers. This novel brilliantly recreates his life and his incredible drive to chart the orbits of the planets and the geometry of the universe while being driven from exile to exile by religious and domestic strife. At the same time it illuminates the harsh realities of the Renaissance world; rich in imaginative daring but rooted in poverty, squalor and the tyrannical power of emperors. ‘Narrative art at a positively symphonic level’ Guardian ‘One knows one is in the presence of a writer extraordinary. Wearing his vast research lightly, Mr Banville not only summons Kepler and his company of vivid souls but leads us into the small dark rooms’ Sunday Telegraph ‘This very distinguished novel . . . is done with very considerable skill; it suggests that this is what such a life must indeed have been like and the result is a wonderfully human figure, rife with feelings, principles, regrets and courage’ Sunday Times ‘An outstandingly good novel . . . a novel that dramatizes and celebrates intellectual passion. Which makes it a very rare novel indeed’ Irish Press