Los Angeles Times Book Prize finalist and all-round critically acclaimed, A Rum Affair tells the extraordinary tale of eminent botanist John Heslop Harrison.
In the 1940s, Heslop Harrison believed that some of the plants found on the Isle of Rum had survived the last Ice Age. Running contrary to a popular belief that no plant life had survived the 10,000 year period of extreme cold, this theory was controversial.
One young amateur botanist, John Raven, set out to disprove these wild claims and sought to uncover a scientific fraud.
A Rum Affair is not simply about one man’s discovery in one particular field of science, but all amateur scientists, the daily trials they have faced to prove their theories and the lengths they would go to to find fame and recognition in their field.
Karl Sabbagh presents his findings in the style of an enthralling non-fiction whodunnit, exploring the effects of ego on scientific exploration in the first half of the twentieth century.
A Rum Affair, by Karl Sabbagh, published by Birlinn, £9.99.