From time immemorial, thunder and lightning were seen as a wrathful Deity’s instruments of punishment. But then, in 1752, came Benjamin Franklin’s paradigm-shifting invention of the lightning rod, and the way we view God and nature was changed forever. In Lightning in the Age of Benjamin Franklin. Facts and Fictions in Science, Religion, and Art Jan Wim Buisman shows how, in the second half of the eighteenth century, our scientific, religious, and artistic conceptions of one of nature’s most violent phenomena were transformed. Thunderstorms began to be experienced less as a threat and more as a source of fascinating delight, and God became less of an angry demiurge and more of a benevolent father. At the same time, university-trained scholars, inquiring amateurs, and sharp-witted showmen embarked on experiments with the multifarious potential of electricity in medicine and elsewhere. With the storm no longer a spectacle to be feared, poets, painters, and composers started to treat it as a subject in its own right. Never before was the beauty of thunder and lightning so frequently and fulsomely represented in Western culture as during the transition from the Enlightenment to the Romantic era.