Quantity available: 1. Dava Sobel has written a gem of a book...one of the best reads for the non-scientific writing to come along for many a moon." Reasonably written. I'm not quite sure how to classify this book - history, biography, scientific treatise. Interesting story. .orange-text-color {font-weight:bold; color: #FE971E;}Ask Alexa to read your book with Audible integration or text-to-speech. by Walker Books, Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time. The dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of one man's forty-year obsession to find a solution to the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day--"the longitude problem. Longitude. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. The shipwreck of Sir Shovell's fleet, the fact that longitude was impossible to determine, and the term "bimetallic" is the limit of the author's analytical depth in this book. It is a very goo read. Shortly after people discovered that the world was round and wanted to sail around it, they realized that they had no way of telling how far they'd gone and how close they were to where they wanted to be, as opposed to how close they were to the Bermuda Triangle, for example, or the giant. The author treats the difficulties Harrison encountered convincing the Board of Longitude of the efficacy of his devices as a matter of petty politics and egotism without offering the reader suffici. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required. Refresh and try again. This is a copy of the first UK trade paperback edition with a new introduction by Neil Armstrong that has been SIGNED by Dava Sobel with her "41N 72W" notation and is dated 21 Apr 12! It's short and informative but actually quite on the dry side. This is an extremely disappointing read. This book was intended for the general reader. We marveled at the big, intricate perpetually ticking H1, H2 and H3, and ignored the small, silent, seemingly nondescript H4, just like the tourists Dava Sobel noticed in her book. October 1st 2005 George III asked that a special act of Parliament be passed and Harrison finally received his prize. Detailed descriptions of the clocks and their engineering advancements are absent. If the sky was clear, the 'clock of the heavens' helped determine the position. .orange-text-color {color: #FE971E;} Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip. Please try your request again later. This book does not justify its rave reviews. Dava Sobel has written a gem of a book…one of the best reads for the non-scientific writing to come along for many a moon.\" Financial Times \"A true life thriller, jam-packed with political intrigue, international warfare, personal feuds and financial skullduggery.\" Daily Mail \"Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as Dava Sobel's Longitude. When my dad went to college back in 1958, my grandma spent a small fortune to buy a 17-jewel (or was it 11?) It also describes his primary competitor and adversary, Nevil Maskelyne, who was keen on proving that the best approach involved astronomical readings. He almost let his £20,000 prize slip away, because he wasn't satisfied with his first clock designed for the sea. One of his sailors tried to call attention to the upcoming catastrophe...but was immediately hanged. To win the full prize, the method or device had. It had never occurred to me how different latitude and longitude are. … I remember visiting Royal Museums Greenwich in London with my children several years ago. The most we can hope a watch to do is mark that progress. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. A 1964 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, Ms. Sobel attended Antioch College and the City College of New York before receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1969. Consequently it did not deal much with the details either of the astronomical or mechanical approaches to solving the problem of finding longitude on the high seas. Then he reduced his machine to a marine watch. In 1714, the English Parliament passed the longitude act. "A 1964 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she has taught several seminars in science writing at the university level, and held a two-year residency at Smith College in fall 2013. To quote an esteemed LC history professor on the technical difficulties of pre-modern navigational technology: "Nowadays, you'd refer to that as being lost. The thorniest scientific problem of the day had occupied scientists and their patrons for the better part of two centuries until John Harrison dared to imagine a mechanical solution. This one is all about the late 18th century watch maker, John Harrison, who builds a series of highly accurate watches in an attempt to win a prize for a device to be able to establish longitude at sea. She is a writer, known for Nova (1974), Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude (1998) and Longitude (2000). Directed by Charles Sturridge. Instead, he ended up competing head-on with a lunar distance technique created by people favored by the committee that oversaw the giving of the prize money. This story is sort of a biography about a person whom the author explains there is not much known. It has also been criticized as a romantic fantasy. Solved the longitude problem Invented the chronometer Lunar Distance Method "Cook returned from his second voyage with bouquets of praise for the method of finding longitude by means of a timekeeper." Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time is a historical biography by Dava Sobel. Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2019. He was barely conscious but alive. Really fun! Longitude is this thing which is about something being long and having attitude, if we remember correctly. Maybe Longitude suffered by comparison with my previous read, Amir Alexander's Infinitesimal, but this book felt very light and frothy. Which is a shame, as the events are fascinating! On October 22, 1707 four English warships crashed into the rocks of the Scilly Isles southwest of England. Longitude by Dava Sobel. Yeah, we know. In 1714, the English Parliament passed the longitude act. 1-Page Summary of Longitude Friedman’s book, Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11 (2002), is a collection of diary entries he published in The New York Times. Dava Sobel (born June 15, 1947) is the author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, and A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos. No diagrams to explain the text where it would assist the reader. Find all the books, read about the author, and more. This book was intended for the general reader. As most innovation of great magnitude, it was a self-appointed task, completely by an individual. .orange-text-color {font-weight:bold; color: #FE971E;}Enjoy features only possible in digital – start reading right away, carry your library with you, adjust the font, create shareable notes and highlights, and more. Not told in a fictionalized sense at all, but more a recital of fact, placements, and progression. But I found it intriguing and educational. Although latitude is fixed by the earth and Columbus could sail a "straight line" in 1492 relative to a fixed latitudinal parallel, longitude made sailors feel they were on a train and looking at another train, trying to determine which one just began moving. His vocation was carpentry and his intimate knowledge of wood was employed in his first chronometer. The clock maker who succeeded with that bio-metal strip that did not alter the time by expansion or shrinking of the components became part of the key. Andrewes, is breathtaking for its graphic displays, and may I say even more informative over the academic /mechanical rivalry to solve the lontitude question . And since time sets its own tempo, like a heartbeat or an ebb tide, timepieces don't really keep time. First published in 1996, Dava Sobel's story of an epic scientific quest - how to calculate longitude. He was barely conscious but alive. Determining a. I'm not quite sure how to classify this book - history, biography, scientific treatise. The clock maker who succeeded with that bio-metal strip that did not alter the time by expansion or shrinking of the components became part of the key. I listened to a quarter of it or so on audio while running errands and walking around the hospital in a bit of a daze as my latest little boy was born, so I know I missed some details in the beginning. Has anyone else read it? And yet time refuses to be bottled up like a genie stuffed in a lamp. LONGITUDE de DAVA SOBEL. Interesting review of the tale toward discovering a correct way to measure longitude for a ship at sea. Adjusted for inflation, this second watch is probably cheaper. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, Paperback – Illustrated, November 5, 2007. This compromised the safety of all seafarers, and in one particular incident around 200 lives were lost of the Isles of Scilly. Inferior seamen were not allowed to keep their own calculations of maritime reckoning, not in 1707. Along the way, the author highlights some of the more outlandish ideas, one of which involves barking dogs! Possibly a model for a certain kind of non-fiction book, the type with very long sub-titles that are meant to cast light on a very short main title, the whole presumably being the original elevator pitch that the author made to the publisher. As it was it very much felt like a summary or an abstract rather than the meat of a true historical account, with a s. Maybe Longitude suffered by comparison with my previous read, Amir Alexander's Infinitesimal, but this book felt very light and frothy. Everybody knows about longitude but I guess not so many know the struggles and fights behind the tries to 'conquer' it, including myself. Also, really short! High stakes (both in terms of the potential benefits to be had from being able to use longitude, and in terms of the reward. To see what your friends thought of this book, Just finished it and really enjoyed it. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of … Longitude book by Dava Sobel Reviewed by Rodford Edmiston. She was previously married to Arthur C. Klein. The Greek astronomers could measure latitude as early as the third century b.c., but more than 2,000 years passed before the development of a reliable method for measuring longitude. About this Item: Harper Perennial, London, UK, 2011. Financial Times "A true life thriller, jam-packed with political intrigue, international warfare, personal feuds and financial skullduggery." Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. An amazing man, John Harrison, worked tirelessly to conquer the problem. As Sobel himself says, it is written as an informative not an academic book and it succeeds well. The author adds nothing to their well-researched biographies in this book, and fails to communicate even the most basic functions of a clock. The following short review is copied from the calendar. Even when the bulbs of the hourglass shatter, when darkness withholds the shadow from the sundial, when the mainspring winds down so far that the clock hands hold still as death, time itself keeps on. There's a problem loading this menu right now. I get that Dava Sobel was writing for a general audience and that I'm a scientist by training, but I would have really appreciated a few more sources or direct quotes from source texts and letters to connect with the historical figures described. It established the Board of Longitude and offered a prize of 20,000 pounds to anyone who could find a simple and practical method for the precise determination of a ship's longitude. The subject's work product is and has been well known and studied at length, but there are not enough details about the technology included in this book. The author treats the difficulties Harrison encountered convincing the Board of Longitude of the efficacy of his devices as a matter of petty politics and egotism without offering the reader sufficient detail about the technical disputes to make any judgments about the scientific debate at the center of the controversy. She has an extraordinary gift of making difficult ideas clear." Longitude was a huge problem, that was incredibly important to travel. Please try again. Backing off to the early part of the exponential function, you'd find glacier speeds of innovations (from today's perspective). As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Shop with confidence on eBay! Her books include Longitude, about English clockmaker John Harrison, and Galileo's Daughter, about Galileo's daughter Maria Celeste, and The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars. Such facts might merely seem the stuff of trivia games, but Dava Sobel’s LONGITUDE is an intriguing biography. Welcome back. . About Dava Sobel. Dava Sobel. It had never occurred to me how different latitude and longitude are. The rate of tec. Daily Mail "Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as Dava Sobel's Longitude. Anyone alive in the eighteenth century would have known that "the longitude problem" was the thorniest scientific dilemma of the day—and had been for centuries. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, in England, and M. Dava Sobel is an accomplished writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. This genius is credited with producing the first marine machine to accurately calculate longitude. Published by Fourth Estate 05/09/2005 (2005) ISBN 10: 0007214464 ISBN 13: 9780007214464. Non-fiction about the quest to develop a reliable method for measuring longitude. Skip it. It covers the trials and tribulations of Harrison and the rivalry between the astronomers and horologists in the race for the longitude prize. Longitude is the story of John Harrison, the man who invented the first clock accurate enough to keep time at sea, allowing navigators to know exactly where they were on an East-West scale. She traces the arc of his career, and details the innovations of each of his subsequent entries (H1-H5) Unfortunately, eve. Hello, Sign in. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, in England, and Middlebury College, Vermont, both awarded in 2002. Dava Sobel was born on June 15, 1947 in New York City, New York, USA. High stakes (both in terms of the potential benefits to be had from being able to use longitude, and in terms of the reward value placed on finding a solution), but while the author keeps on reminding us that it's very important, and telling us that his struggles with the politics of the board who were supposed to award the reward were very severe, I generally felt underwhelmed by the story, or maybe the way it was being told and structured. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. I can't remember if I read the book first or saw the television series first, but some combination of the two was like a long, calm, very safe ocean voyage. Account & Lists Account Returns & Orders. In particular Sobel highlights John Harrison's pursuit of the prize. for such things. I am a fan of two Yorkshiremen Capt Cookj. Turtleback, 1996 - Juvenile Nonfiction - 184 pages. Karma had the last laugh, as the Admiral went to his own reckoning. Daily Mail "Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as Dava Sobel's Longitude. Th. An engaging overview of the solution(s) to the longitude problem - recommended, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 8, 2018. It established the Board of Longitude and offered a prize of 20,000 pounds to anyone who could find a simple and practical method for … Dava Sobel. Consequently it did not deal much with the details either of the astronomical or mechanical approaches to solving the problem of finding longitude on the high seas. This book tells you the fascinating stories around the end of the 18th century when precision timekeeper was just about to be invented and chronometer was not a word yet. A former staff science reporter for The New York Times, she has also written for numerous magazines, including Discover, Harvard Magazine, Smithsonian, and The New Yorker . She also received the 2004 Harrison Medal from the Worshipful Company of Clockmakers in England and the 2008 Klumpke-Roberts Award from the Astronomical Society of the Pacific for "increasing the public understanding and appreciation of astronomy. Or, it requires very accurate measurement of time. He was Sir Clowdisley, the admiral of the tragic fleet, and he had mistakenly steered his ships to disaster. This book is a fascinating history of the development of a mechanical chronometer. I was left hoping for more detail and depth, Reviewed in the United States on May 16, 2017. In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. Dava Sobel (born June 15, 1947) is the author of Longitude, Galileo's Daughter, The Planets, and A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos. Perhaps the author feels the story of Longitude should focus on people instead of engineering. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. Latitude - 'the parallels' - had always been relatively simple to measure. Nice, does what. In the tradition of praising people whose work made it possible to do things a little better - in this case navigate across seas using a map. Longitude is the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest and of Harrison's forty-year obsession with building his perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer. Especially interesting was the English contest for solving the problem. The story encompasses astronomy, navigation and clockmaking. Adjusted for inflation, this second watch is probably cheaper. To quote an esteemed LC history professor on the technical difficulties of pre-modern navigational technology: "Nowadays, you'd refer to that as being lost. It's short and informative but actually quite on the dry side. What a let-down. Really lovely and very interesting reading. The author is not a good story teller, either. With a Foreword by Neil Armstrong. As far as popular science writing, or popular history of science writing (take your pick) goes, I've read better books. That thing will probably be off only a couple of minutes a year. Just finished it and really enjoyed it. Well, clearly we didn't as Dava Sobel's magnificent history book/scientific exposition is an account of how one lone genius went and solved the most gigantic scientific dilemma of his era (no, not why Cornflakes go soggy after you… You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition. It shows that John Harrison was like the Indian mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan (central character in the movie "The man who knew infinity") in that he was poor and therefore self educated. The story of John (Longitude) Harrison disproves this. But longitude (circles which intersect at each pole - used to measure east/west distance) is much more of a challenge. As far as popular science writing, or popular history of science writing (take your pick) goes, I've read better books. Swiss wrist watch for him. 0 Reviews. A beachcomber found the bedraggled officer...and immediately murdered him for the ring on his finger. He was Sir Clowdisley, the admiral of the tragic fleet, and he had mistakenly steered his ships to disaster. Lacking the ability to measure longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea. The Board of Longitude, which would be primarily comprised of astronomers, was set up to award the money. They quickly sank killing 2,000 men. The Board of Longitude, which would be primarily comprised of astronomers, was set up to award the money. and Mr John Harrison, and I own a 1990`s copy of Dava`s "Longtitude", but this edition assisted by her- co author, William J.H. There was a problem loading your book clubs. October 30, 2007 Dava Sobel. It also describes his primary competitor and adversary, Nevil Maskelyne, who was keen on proving that the best approach involved astronomical readings. But they actually thought they could get somewhere." Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of. Longitude: the True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel. The trials of Harrison, and the jealously of others in his attempts made for a good story.. This is a book about a self-taught village clock-maker who created a whole new breed of amazingly precise chronometers, which enable the accurate measurement of longitude, and the fight he had with astronomers to get his solution recognised (and rewarded). I do not recommend it. Former New York Times reporter Sobel (coauthor, Arthritis: What Works, 1989, etc.) Nice, does what it says on the tin type book. I loved this book! Instead it focused on description of John Harrison's quest to build an ocean chronometer. Still really great though! That thing will probably be off only a couple of minutes a year. Longitude, a recommended book for our “Hope on the Horizon” summer reading challenge, is a classic true tale of persistence rewarded. This genius is credited with producing the first marine machine to accurately calculate. Also has a cameo appearance by everyone's favorite benignly insane monarch, George III. She traces the arc of his career, and details the innovations of each of his subsequent entries (H1-H5) Unfortunately, even though his Chronometers repeatedly proved their worth in Sea trial after sea trial, and the watch quickly gained adherents among sea captains, Harrison was thwarted at every turn in his attempt to claim the prize. Unable to add item to List. The analysis of Harrison's clocks is far more focused on the decorations of their faces than on his novel engineering. But Dava Sobel goes beyond that obstacle, she turns the story of John Harrison and his first marine chronometer, into a race for glory and wealth. In two parallel stories, the clockmaker John Harrison builds the marine chronometer for safe navigation at sea in the 18th Century and the horologist Rupert Gould … I was reminded of this book today because in was on the PageADay Book Lover's Calendar for 3-31-2015. Especially interesting was the English contest for solving the problem. Longitude. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. UK Paperback Edition/First Printing. Determining a position requires much more sophisticated astronomical measurement and calculation. Bloomsbury USA; First edition (November 5, 2007), Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2016. How the academic astronomers, kept trying to do down Harrison, who in the true British fashion of the gifted amateur (being neither a trained watch maker nor scientist but a carpenter) won in the end through persistence and hard graft. Longitude 'The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time' Dava Sobel (Fourth Estate, London 1996) Synopsis. When my dad went to college back in 1958, my grandma spent a small fortune to buy a 17-jewel (or was it 11?) We work hard to protect your security and privacy. I don’t use it that much personally, because I don’t tend to go anywhere, but I’m sure all this technology I love to use makes use of GPS. They and many others vied for the monetary prize offered by the British government. His relations with the board became so acrimonious that eventually his friends went over the board's head and appealed directly to the King himself. Reasonably written. But they actually thought they could get somewhere." Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. (Sobel Unitil the mid 1700s the world lacked the science to know where ships were at sea - with often tragic results. .orange-text-color {font-weight:bold; color: #FE971E;}View high quality images that let you zoom in to take a closer look. On October 22, 1707 four English warships crashed into the rocks of the Scilly Isles southwest of England. There are no illustrations in a book that screams. Yes, it is non-fiction. Dava Sobel traces the history of how the elusive issue of determining longitude was finally solved, and it's a great story that also speaks of the injustice of Britain c controlled by a rigid class system. We all knew that before buying this book. If the sky was overcast, an accurate clock was needed on board. He was one of just two survivors who washed ashore, after their fleet hit the rocks of Scilly and more than two thousand men went to their watery graves in just minutes. A few years back, I gave him a different watch, a solar-powered so-called atomic watch which is really a quartz watch that can synchronize to real atomic clocks through broadcast towers on three (or was it 4) continents. The publication of Longitude taught me that a book can actually improve by virtue of being read. The author’s research covered several hundred years of partial success and many failures. I read it back in the year 2000(+-). Had he resisted the urge to build a better clock before claiming the prize, he would have won the prize out right. Trade Paperback. Lacking the ability to measure their longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. To others worth a read but will end up at our local charity shop really keep time found. Solve the longitudinal navigation at H4, the method or device had taking excessive time to or! 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