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The Illustrated Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time

The Illustrated Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time Cover


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Publisher Comments:

A fully illustrated edition of the international best-seller Longitude.

The Illustrated Longitude recounts in words and images the epic quest to solve the greatest scientific problem of the eighteenth and three prior centuries: determining how a captain could pinpoint his ship's location at sea. All too often throughout the ages of exploration, voyages ended in disaster when crew and cargo were either lost at sea or destroyed upon the rocks of an unexpected landfall. Thousands of lives and the fortunes of nations hung on a resolution to the longitude problem.

To encourage a solution, governments established prizes for anyone whose method or device proved successful. The largest reward of £20,000-- truly a king's ransom-- was offered by Britain's Parliament in 1714. The scientific establishment-- from Galileo to Sir Isaac Newton-- had been certain that a celestial answer would be found and invested untold effort in this pursuit. By contrast, John Harrison imagined and built the unimaginable: a clock that told perfect time at sea, known today as the chronometer. Harrison's trials and tribulations during his forty-year quest to win the prize are the culmination of this remarkable story.

The Illustrated Longitude brings a new and important dimension to Dava Sobel's celebrated story. It contains the entire original narrative of Longitude, redesigned to accompany 183 images chosen by William Andrewes-- from portraints of every important figure in the story to maps and diagrams, scientifc instruments, and John Harrison's remarkable sea clocks themselves. Andrewes's elegant captions and sidebars on scientific and historical events tell their own story of longitude, paralleling and illuminating Sobel's memorable tale.

About the Author

Dava Sobel is the author of the best-sellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, and the editor and translator of Letters to Father. She lives in East Hampton, New York.

William J. H. Andrewes is a museum consultant specializing in the history of scientific instruments and time measurement. He is the editor of The Quest for Longitude and lives in Concord, Massachusetts.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

ckrusema, November 29, 2008 (view all comments by ckrusema)
I think Dava Sobel did a great job in writing Longitude. She made this seemingly dull topic very interesting. In all honesty, I enjoyed it much more than I expected. She wrote this piece in a very anecdotal way. It resembled a novel much more than a history book or textbook. She personalized the characters, strongly engaging her audience. Throughout, readers’ emotions are invoked. We cheer for John Harrison, the book’s protagonist, and frown on the Board of Longitude, Nevil Maskelyne, and others who stand in the way of Harrison’s success. Interwoven through these stories are historical facts. The clever combination of narration and history make this read educational and enjoyable, especially for a reader whose favorite topics do not include longitude.
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Product Details

Sobel, Dava
Sobel, Dava
Andrewes, William J. H.
Walker & Company
New York :
Clock and watch makers
Scientific Instruments
Clock and watch makers -- Great Britain -- Biography.
Earth Sciences - Geography
Edition Number:
illustrated ed.
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
Full-color and black-and-white illustrat
10 x 9 in 1 lb

Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Geography » General
Reference » Science Reference » General
Science and Mathematics » History of Science » General

The Illustrated Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time
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Product details 224 pages Walker & Company - English 9780802713445 Reviews:
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