Given the double helix confessions of a Watson and the spate of books on Oppenheimer, Lawfence and other contemporary scientists, one looks with suspicion on the gentle scientific biography in which the hero is truly a Hero. Yet this study of John Herschel, the distinguished astronomer son of William Herschel (who discovered Uranus) does ring true. John was the special prodigy son, tutored at home, brilliant at Cambridge, and in the course of 79 years the producer of exhaustive tomes on binary star systems and nebulae, catalogues of both northern and southern skies as well as scores of papers, popular books and essays in fields encompassing all physical science. You will like Herschel who relaxed by playing the violin, translating the Iliad, writing sentimental poetry, and enjoying his own talented brood of children. Nil tetigit, quod no ornavit, Charles Pritchard wrote in his obituary, ""He touched nothing he did not adorn"" and Gunther Buttman seems to have proved his case.