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Good Reads  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution

Flights of Fancy Defying Gravity by Design & Evolution

Popular Science
By: Richard Dawkins(Author), Jana Lenzová(Illustrator)
316 pages, colour & b/w illustrations
Flights of Fancy
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  • Flights of Fancy ISBN: 9781838937867 Paperback Sep 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 5 days
  • Flights of Fancy ISBN: 9781838937850 Hardback Nov 2021 In stock
Selected version: £12.99
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About this book

The wonder of flight. The science of evolution. From both, Richard Dawkins weaves a fascinating and beautifully illustrated account of how nature and humans have learned to overcome the pull of gravity and take to the skies.

Do you sometimes dream you can fly like a bird? Gliding effortlessly above the treetops, soaring and swooping, playing and dodging through the third dimension. Computer games, virtual reality headsets, and some drugs can lift our imagination and fly us through fabled, magical spaces. But it's not the real thing. No wonder some of the past's greatest minds, including Leonardo da Vinci's, have yearned for flying machines and struggled to design them.

Flights of Fancy is a book about flying – all the different ways of defying gravity that have been discovered by humans over the centuries and by other animals over the millions of years, from the mythical Icarus to the sadly extinct but magnificent bird Argentavis magnificens, to the Wright Flyer and the 747. But it also means flights of digression into more general ideas and principles that take off from a discussion about actual flight.

Fascinating and elegantly written, this is a unique collaboration between one of the world's leading zoologists and a talented artist, and perfect for enquiring teenage minds.

Customer Reviews


Richard Dawkins is one of the world's most eminent writers and thinkers, and a major contributor to the public understanding of the science of evolution. The award-winning author of The Selfish Gene, The Blind Watchmaker, The God Delusion and a string of other bestselling science books, he is a Fellow of the Royal Society and of the Royal Society of Literature.

Jana Lenzová born and raised in Bratislava, Slovakia, is an illustrator, translator and interpreter. Her two great passions are languages and drawing. The former led to the latter. After she had been commissioned to translate The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins into Slovak, she began contributing to his books as an illustrator.

Popular Science
By: Richard Dawkins(Author), Jana Lenzová(Illustrator)
316 pages, colour & b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"Richard Dawkins writes with admirable clarity and Jana Lenzová illustrates in much the same way [...] A masterly investigation of all aspects of flight, human and animal. This is a beautifully produced book that will appeal across age groups"
– Alexander McCall-Smith

"Dawkins writes with such an irresistible combination of mastery of the subject, delight in it, and vividness. A total pleasure"
– Michael Frayn

"Dawkins's prose feels as if it were cut with a laser [...] Dawkins has always been an extraordinarily muscular, persuasive thinker. What feels new here is that he writes with such charm and warmth. Genial Uncle Richard, for me, is the most likeable Dawkins yet [...] He has made Darwinism cooler than it has any right to be"
Sunday Times

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