The Last Volcano: A Man, a Romance, and the Quest to Understand Nature's Most Magnificent Fury
Author: John Dvorak | Paperback
"A vividly written exploration of Jaggar's life and work. Dvorak brings him to life in a richly researched narrative as thrilling as his topic, creating the sort of popular science history that flies off the shelves."--Booklist (starred review)
Volcanoes have fascinated--and terrified--us for ages. They have destroyed cities and ended civilizations. This exemplary new book explores the early scientific study of volcanoes, as well as the life of Thomas Jaggar, the man who pioneered the field.
Educated at Harvard, Jaggar went to the Caribbean after Mount Pelée exploded in 1902, killing more than 26,000 people. Witnessing the destruction and learning about the horrible deaths these people had suffered, Jaggar vowed to dedicate himself to the study of volcanoes. In 1912, he built a small science station at the edge of a lake of molten lava at Kilauea volcano in the Hawaiian Islands, with the goal of solving the mystery of why volcanoes erupt and how they could be predicted. Jaggar found something else at Kilauea, too: true love.
She was Isabel Maydwell, a widowed school teacher who came to Kilauea to restart her life. Maydwell would quickly become one of the world's most astute observers of volcanic activity.
Mixed with tales of myths and rituals, as well as the author's own experiences and insight into volcanic activity, The Last Volcano reveals the lure and romance of confronting nature in its most magnificent form.