This introductory account of our Universe is based on the author's Christmas Lectures, given at the Royal Institution over New Year's 1990-91 and televised live. In an engaging, direct style Malcolm Longair describes questions astronomers face today on the origin and fate of the Universe. Professor Longair begins with a brief tour of the Universe, introducing the major players from our own sun to inhabitants at the edge of the Universe. He defines the Universe by the distribution of various types of galaxies. Important to later chapters, he helps us to appreciate how astronomers study different types of radiation emitted by various objects to gain a picture of our Universe. In the next chapter, he takes a closer look at stellar objects, describing the nature of stars and the "cosmic cycle of their births, lives, and deaths." Following this Dr. Longair discusses the origins of quasars, the most powerful energy sources in the Universe, and from which we have learnt so much. Along the way, he covers pulsars, neutron stars, and black holes. Next he explains how galaxies are formed, which leads directly to the main theme of the book, the origin of the Universe. Dr. Malcolm Longair is the Director of the Royal Observatory at Edinburgh and Astronomer Royal for Scotland. He has written several other books on astronomy and astrophysics including Alice and the Space Telescope (1989).Longair, Malcolm S. is the author of 'Origins of the Universe: The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for Young People, 1990' with ISBN 9780521423038 and ISBN 0521423031.