A More Perfect Heaven

A More Perfect Heaven
Dava Sobel
Reviewed by Venyhamin
Bloomsbury
Mon, 05/09/2011
9781408818008
£14.99

At the heart of A More Perfect Heaven is a play in which Dava Sobel dramatises Nicolaus Copernicus’ struggle to publish his controversial theory of a heliocentric universe. However, as Sobel herself says in the introduction, she had “intended the play to stand on its own”, but was persuaded by her editor to place it in its historical context with an account of how this revolutionary text came to be written and received. Whilst both the narrative and the play, in particular, work perfectly well individually, it seems a somewhat odd hybrid. Sobel herself tacitly admits that a good play doesn’t require lengthy explanation – and there is the germ of an extremely decent drama here.

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