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Seventeenth century German Jesuit Athanasius Kircher’s interests knew no bounds. From optics to music to magnetism to medicine, his inventions and theories for everything made him famous across Europe. His museum in Rome featured magic lanterns, speaking statues, the tail of a mermaid, a brick from the Tower of Babel and more. Holy Roman Emperors were his patrons, popes were his friends, and in his spare time he collaborated with the Baroque master Bernini.

In A Man of Misconceptions author John Glassie traces the rise, success and eventual fall of this fascinating character. With humor and insight, John Glassie returns Kircher to his rightful place as one of history’s most unforgettable figures. Join Glassie on Thursday, January 24 when he comes to The Ivy Bookshop at 7 p.m. for a book signing and discussion of the controversial polymath.

John Glassie
John Glassie

Glassie, a graduate of Johns Hopkins University, teaches at the Pratt Institute and through the New York Times Knowledge Network. He is the author of the photography book Bicycles Locked to Poles and has written for Salon, Wired, The New York Times, McSweeney’s and The Believer. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Meet Glassie at The Ivy Bookshop, 6080 Falls Road at 7 p.m. For information, visit The Ivy Bookshop website.