This engaging biography reveals a self-made man of remarkable drive... On page one, Wardhaugh describes Hutton’s story as “incredible”. By the end of this meticulous yet lively biography, even those who had never heard of its subject could hardly disagree.
Wardhaugh has done a good job of rescuing Hutton from obscurity and setting the man and his achievements in the context of their times. A minor irritation is that the thematic presentation of the various topics leads to some chronological jumping, which has the reader (at least, this reader) backtracking here and there to work out how the different events fit together. But this account of how ‘the pit boy turned professor’ became ‘one of the most revered British scientists of his day’ is well worth reading.