The Moon: A Biography

(Revised Edition)

David Whitehouse
The Moon

Since pre-history, the moon has fascinated man, exerting a tremendous influence over the earth and its inhabitants. It has had a central role for most cultures and their poets, painters and musicians as well as lovers have taken it as a source of inspiration. Whitehouse’s book brings together these various aspects in elegant and informed prose, ranging in time from the Moonwatchers of Lascaux and the awe of primitive man, on to Galileo, Van Eyck and Thomas Harriot (an unfairly neglected British moon-scientist), the Apollo Missions of the 1970s and 1980s, the unmanned missions of recent times and the exciting discovery of ice at the polar caps.

‘This must surely be the most wide-ranging book on Earth’s nearest neighbour ever written. A great book with countless places, characters and subjects explored… This is by no means a book only for astronomers or even those interested in the sciences. There is much here to interest art historians, readers of pre-20th century literature, psychiatrists and biographers.’ The Bookseller

‘A spellbinding story. Few of us have not been fascinated by the man in the moon – and wondered what his world is like. This book tells it all.’ Liverpool Echo

‘The author’s brimming passion for his subject is obvious… deserves to be widely read.’ Guardian

‘It took ten years to create… and another four billion before man visited it. But, as this new book reveals, it took an Elizabethan Englishman to put it all into focus… a fantastic book.’ Daily Mail

‘An informative and highly enjoyable mix of astronomy, history and myth that is a cluttered and as charming as a Victorian museum… such details are a delight, and Whitehouse’s well-researched book is infused with an enthusiasm he says he acquired as a boy, when the Apollo missions kept him spellbound. THE MOON shows a familiar friend in a whole new light.’ Scotland on Sunday

‘A tour-de-force, utterly compelling. Whitehouse is terrific, a magical enthusiast.’ Financial Times


  • Weidenfeld & Nicholson/ Orion UK (WEL)
  • Tsukiji Shokan Japan

Earlier version published by (all rights reverted):

  • Headline UK
  • Kailas Spain
  • Dunod France

Material: Previous English edition (320pp); full revised text.