G. I. Taylor was one of the most distinguished physical scientists of this century, using his deep insight and originality and mathematical skill to increase greatly our understanding of phenomena such as the turbulent flow of fluids. His interest in the science of fluid flow was not confined to theory; he was one of the early pioneers of aeronautics, and designed a new type of anchor, now widely used in small boats throughout the world, that came about through his passion for sailing. Taylor spent most of his working life in the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge, where he investigated the mechanics of fluid and solid materials; his discoveries and ideas have had application throughout mechanical, civil and chemical engineering, meteorology, oceanography and material science. He was also a noted research leader, and his group in Cambridge became one of the most productive centres for the study of fluid mechanics. How was Taylor able to be innovative in so many different ways? This interesting and unusual mix of science and biography helps us to answer that question. Professor Batchelor, himself a student of Taylor, and close collaborator for 30 years, is ideally placed to describe Taylor's life, achievements and background. He does so without introducing any mathematical details, making this book enjoyable reading for a wide range of people, and especially those whose own interests have brought them into contact with the scientific legacy of G. I. Taylor.