There is a burgeoning mass market for books which take an interesting scientific story and tell it well, and this is a worthy addition to that market. The book consists of a lively and accessible introduction to the historical development of geological time, followed by 12 chapters chronicling the life and scientific achievements of Arthur Holmes, the man who pioneered robust quantitative limits on the timescale of our planet.

The author has a fascinating tale to tell, and a complex and interesting protagonist around whom to weave her narrative. Considerable effort would appear to have been invested to allow the...

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