The Last Man Who Knew Everything chronicles the amazing accomplishments of Thomas Young, who proved Isaac Newton wrong and broke the code of the Rosetta stone which helped to decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics, to name just two of his contributions to society.
Precocious to the point of genius, Young overcame a less than encouraging family life; he was sent away from home not long after being born and was rarely around his parents after that. The fact that his parents were rigid Quakers and not particularly open-minded guaranteed that they had little if anything in common with their ever-questioning and thus ever-learning son.
Robinson’s biography gives belated credit to a brilliant man who, out of modesty and fear that his patients would be frightened by his experiments, chose to remain in the background. A bit of warning: reading about Young’s abilities and contributions to learning may give you a bit of an inferiority complex.