A Cold Spell, A Human History of Ice by Max Leonard
Ice has confounded, delighted and fascinated us since the first sparks of art and culture in Europe and it now underpins the modern world. Without ice, we would not feed ourselves or heal our sick as we do, and our towns and cities, countryside and oceans would look very different. Science would not have progressed along the avenues it did and our galleries and libraries would be missing many masterpieces.
A Cold Spell uses this vital link to understanding our past to tell a surprising story of obsession, invention and adventure – how we have lived and dreamed, celebrated and traded, innovated, loved and fought over thousands of years. It brings together a sacrificial Incan mummy, Winston Churchill's secret plans for unusual aircraft carriers, strange bones that shook Victorian beliefs about the world and a macabre journey into the depths of the human body. It is an original and unique way of looking at something that is literally all around us, whose loss confronts us daily in the news, but whose impact on our lives has never been fully explored.