NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE STARRING FELICITY JONES AND EDDIE REDMAYNE A GUARDIAN BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A NEW STATESMAN BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A DAILY TELEGRAPH BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A NEW REPUBLIC BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR A TIME MAGAZINE TOP 10 NONFICTION BOOK OF 2013 From ambitious scientists rising above the clouds to analyse the air to war generals floating across enemy lines, Richard Holmes takes to the air in this heart-lifting history of pioneer balloonists. Falling Upwards asks why they risked their lives, and how their flights revealed the secrets of our planet. The stories range from early ballooning rivals to the long-distance voyages of American entrepreneurs; from the legendary balloon escape from the Prussian siege of Paris to dauntless James Glaisher, who in the 1860s flew seven miles above the earth – without oxygen. Falling Upwards has inspired the Major Motion Picture The Aeronauts – in cinemas SOON. In a glorious fusion of history, art, science and biography, this is a book about what balloons give rise to: the spirit of discovery, and the brilliant humanity of recklessness, vision and hope.