Where do ideas come from? And why do the best ideas sometimes strike in a flash of supposed "sudden genius"? Andrew Robinson—the former literary editor of London's Times Higher Education Supplement, and biographer of Albert Einstein, Rabindranath Tagore, and other brilliant scientific and creative thinkers—here profiles ten remarkable individuals who achieved breakthroughs in their fields. Ranging from the Curies' discovery of radium and Einstein's theory of special relativity to Mozart's composing of The Marriage of Figaro and Virginia Woolf's writing of Mrs. Dalloway, Robinson considers what highly creative people have in common, and whether such breakthroughs follow patterns.
"Fascinating.... The book's real value lies in its masterly overview of various theories promulgated about the causes of genius."—Sunday Times (London)