Luke Howard

(1310 words)

Luke Howard’s importance today derives from his seminal contribution to the early understanding of meteorology, notably his realization that clouds come in a limited number of forms which can be understood scientifically as the consequence of certain general causes in the atmosphere. Howard’s work was widely appreciated in the early nineteenth century and may have had a direct influence on Shelley’s poem “The Cloud” and on Constable’s painting of cloudscapes. Howard’s work was also assimilated into John Ruskin’s discussions in Modern Painters.

Born in London in 1772, Luke Howard was the son of a wealthy Quaker lamp-maker who was to become wealthy as the chief agent in Britain f…

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Clark, Robert. "Luke Howard". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 13 April 2014
[, accessed 25 November 2015.]