William Hartston

William Hartston is a Cambridge-educated mathematician and industrial psychologist. Between 1962 and 1987 he played chess competitively, becoming an international master and winning the English chess championship in 1973 and 1975. He also writes the off-beat Beachcomber column for the Daily Express and and is one of the viewers on Channel 4's Gogglebox.



Each mystery is delightfully penned in bite-sized chunks that often includes humorous repertoire... highly enjoyable... Captivating and inspiring
New Scientist

Properly researched, and the elegance of its pop-cosmology or pop-biology mini-narratives rivals that of many specialists. It is slyly witty, and pleasingly optimistic.Steven Poole

Discovering the many undiscovered things that one thought had been discovered already is one of the joys of this book... You might have thought that wallowing in ignorance is a tedious and fruitless occupation. As Hartston proves entertainingly, how wrong you would be.
Daily Express

A rigorous and playful exploration of human limits in scientific knowledge about the planet, its history and culture, and the universe beyond
Publishers Weekly

A delightful collection for trivia buffs and browsers.

Fascinating and hugely entertaining
Daily Express