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Alexander Graham Bell (1847-1922) was the son of Melville Bell, inventor of the Visible Speech which revolutionised phonetics and linguistics. He was inspired by his deaf mother to try to communicate with deaf-mutes and teach them to speak. While exploring the mechanism of speech, sound and hearing, he discovered the principles of the telephone, arguably the most important invention of all time, without which the gramophone, radio, television and videophone could t have been possible. The telephone made him wealthy, but Bell went on to invent the iron lung, pioneer aircraft, improve the breeding of sheep and co-found the National Geographic Society. This superb biography follows Bell from his birthplace in Edinburgh to his studies and teaching in London and Europe and thence to riches and fame in the United States of Canada. Set against the colourful backdrop of Victorian Britain and the exhilaration of the New World, Sounds Out of Silence is the definitive story of one of the world's greatest inventors.
Dr James Mackay is a historian and author. Widely regarded as the world's greatest authority on the life and works of Robert Burns, Mackay's definitive biography, Burns, won the 1994 Saltire Society Book of the Year award. He is also the author of Vagabond of Verse: A Biography of Robert Service, Brave Heart: William Wallace, Allan Pinkerton: The Eye Who Never Slept and Michael Collins: A Life.