Synopses & Reviews
In 1793, a canal digger named William Smith made a startling discovery. He found that by tracing the placement of fossils, which he uncovered in his excavations, one could follow layers of rocks as they dipped and rose and fell--clear across England and, indeed, clear across the world--making it possible, for the first time ever, to draw a chart of the hidden underside of the earth. Smith spent twenty-two years piecing together the fragments of this unseen universe to create an epochal and remarkably beautiful hand-painted map. But instead of receiving accolades and honors, he ended up in debtors' prison, the victim of plagiarism, and virtually homeless for ten years more.
The Map That Changed the World is a very human tale of endurance and achievement, of one man's dedication in the face of ruin. With a keen eye and thoughtful detail, Simon Winchester unfolds the poignant sacrifice behind this world-changing discovery.
The first geological map was made by an Oxfordshire farmer's son called William Smith. His life was beset with troubles: his work was plagiarized, he was imprisoned for debt, his wife went insane and the scientific establishment shunned him. This is the tale of his life and work in modern geology.
B format edition of a hugely successful Viking hardback, which has the potential to be one of the biggest non-fiction paperbacks of 2002. It tells the story of William Smith, a farmer's son who went on to become the "father of modern geology". A number one bestseller in the UK, the USA and Australia, it will be supported with a high-profile marketing campaign, including widespread national press advertising. "A wonderful book. This is a model of what popular history can be" "New Statesman".