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“A lively, elegant, and surprising book, packed with curious details and enticing anecdotes.”
- New York Times Book Review

“Densely anecdotal and engaging, and almost frighteningly well-researched . . . A lovely and often brilliant book.”
- New York Observer

“Masterly, elegant and thoughtful cultural history.”
- Sunday Times (UK)

“Wonderful . . . a rigorously researched and grippingly narrated weaving of tales.”
- Financial Times (UK)

“Inspired by the automatons that were popular during the Enlightenment, Wood decided to explore the creation of mechanical life, especially the relationship between a creator and the created. The eclectic tour describes various contraptions displayed in France, particularly by one Jacques de Vaucanson; all who saw it marveled at his defecating duck. Alas, few of these bizarre mechanisms still exist, leading to speculation about how they actually worked. This issue is settled, however, for the most celebrated automaton of all, the champion-beating chess-playing machine whose "secret" Wood reveals. Readers interested in the offbeat will enjoy Wood's topics and her philosophical asides.”
- Booklist (US)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Gaby Wood attended Cambridge University and has been a regular contributor to The Guardian and the London Review of Books.

Very favourable reviews on

Hardback 2002.

278 pages.

Eight pages of black & white illustrations and photographs.

Very good condition.

The cost of shipping is $4.95, or $5.95 by tracked mail. If you are on rural delivery and want tracked mail, the shipping cost will be $8.95.

There is of course no charge for shipping if you collect this book from my shop in Palmerston ?North following the auction.

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Shipping options

  • NZ Post or courier$4.95
  • tracked mail$5.95
  • tracked mail for Rural Delivery (RD)$8.95
  • Seller allows pick-ups
  • Seller location: Palmerston North, Manawatu, NZ

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