This is a story of more than a century ago, about a circle of young scientists, and in particular one among them, a mathematician, Niels Henrik Abel. He is well known to any mathematician of today; indeed, few men have their name associated with so many results and concepts in modern mathematics. This, however, is not the main concern in this book. It is rather the simple story of a scientist, his family and friends, his hopes and sorrows, his triumphs and tragedies. Many great lives, rich in outer events, have inspired biographers. But the profound humanity of a searching soul may provide the background for an equally arresting chronicle - the heart-warming tale of a young man who set out from a little Norwegian town to explore the world of science.