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Before fate intervened, Joseph Needham was a distinguished biochemist at Cambridge University, married to a fellow scientist. In 1937 he was asked to supervise a young Chinese student named Lu Gwei-Djen, and from that moment sprang the two greatest love affairs of his life - with Miss Lu, and with China. Miss Lu inspired Needham to travel to China where he initially spent three dangerous years as a wartime diplomat. He established himself as the pre-eminent China scholar of the time, firm in his belief that China would one day achieve world prominence. By the end of his life, Needham had become a truly global figure, travelling endlessly and honoured by all - though banned from America because of his politics. And in 1989, after a fifty-two year affair, he finally married the woman who had first inspired his passion.Bomb, Book and Compass is Simon Winchester at his best - at once a magnificent portrait of one man's remarkable life and a riveting exploration of the country that so engaged him.
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A bestselling author in both Britain and America, Simon Winchester was born and educated in England and now lives in New York and Massachusetts.

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