Derek M. Elsom is Professor Emeritus of Geography at Oxford Brookes University. He has published widely on lightning, tornadoes, hailstorms and thunderstorms, and is the author of Earth: The Making, Shaping and Workings of a Planet (1992), Weather Explained (1997) and Smog Alert: Managing Urban Air Quality (Earthscan, 1996).
One of a series of books on natural phenomena that traces a history of the topic through cultural superstitions, scientific discoveries, and depictions in literature and the arts, illustrated by beautiful colour photography. From odd warding customs, the gods of antiquity and ball lightning to lighting marks, St Elmo's Fire and solidified lightning (fulgurites), Derek Elsom maintains our interest throughout, making this very accessible to everyman . . . an excellent introduction to one of the mysterious forces of nature. --Fortean Times This is the best book I have read on the subject of lightning and is very reasonably priced, so I can unreservedly recommend it to all readers. --International Journal of Meteorology The phenomenon of lightning has long frightened and fascinated humanity. As part of Reaktion's Earth series, this book explores the scientific and social aspects of this natural occurrence. . . . This book, beautifully illustrated with many color photographs, provides an excellent, basic overview of the subject. --Choice