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The Prospect Reading Group met this month to discuss Measuring the World, by the German novelist Daniel Kehlmann. I wasn’t able to attend the meeting due to illness but a report was compiled by group member Caroline Ballinger, including observations from those present and a few of my own.

Measuring the World is an imagined account of the lives of two German scientific giants of the late 18th and early 19th centuries, Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Friedrich Gauss, structured around a (real? potential?) meeting between the two men later in life. The book was a literary sensation in Germany…

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