We all knew that before buying this book. Published by Fourth Estate 05/09/2005 (2005) ISBN 10: 0007214464 ISBN 13: 9780007214464. If the sky was clear, the 'clock of the heavens' helped determine the position. Hello, Sign in. To see what your friends thought of this book, Just finished it and really enjoyed it. 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. 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. The Board of Longitude, which would be primarily comprised of astronomers, was set up to award the money. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. She has an extraordinary gift of making difficult ideas clear." Bloomsbury USA; First edition (November 5, 2007), Reviewed in the United States on December 21, 2016. 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. It would do well to be required reading in our schools actually as there's so much to be gained in perspective of application of science and history. I have favorable recollections of the book, and I found it to be in interesting story. 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. for such things. There are no illustrations in a book that screams. Until reading this book, I did not know that a problem existed determining where a ship was situated longitudinally. The rate of tec. To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number. Stellar nonfiction, exceptionally well-written. Dava Sobel, Writer: Nova. Trade Paperback. Longitude is this thing which is about something being long and having attitude, if we remember correctly. Former New York Times reporter Sobel (coauthor, Arthritis: What Works, 1989, etc.) It also describes his primary competitor and adversary, Nevil Maskelyne, who was keen on proving that the best approach involved astronomical readings. It is a very goo read. Seems like she repeats the Shovell story nearly every chapter, along with the fact that sailors couldn't determine longitude without a clock. 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. Longitude is west to east, east to west. This genius is credited with producing the first marine machine to accurately calculate longitude. Please try again. 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 . It had never occurred to me how different latitude and longitude are. That becomes tedious and could have been briefer considering that those early ideas were useless. Simplistic terms like "bimetallic strip" are promoted as the entire explanation, with no further information provided. 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." Longitude by Dava Sobel. In 1714, the English Parliament passed the longitude act. Karma had the last laugh, as the Admiral went to his own reckoning. .orange-text-color {color: #FE971E;} Explore your book, then jump right back to where you left off with Page Flip. Andrewes, is breathtaking for its graphic displays, and may I say even more informative over the academic /mechanical rivalry to solve the lontitude question . October 1st 2005 Directed by Charles Sturridge. They and many others vied for the monetary prize offered by the British government. Find great deals for Longitude by Dava Sobel. Unable to add item to List. Lacking the ability to determine their longitude, sailors were literally lost at sea as soon as they lost sight of land. https://www.waterstones.com/book/longitude/dava-sobel/9780007214228 “This is a gem of a book.” ―Christopher Lehmann-Haupt, New York Times“A simple tale, brilliantly told.” ―Washington Post Book World“As much a tale of intrigue as it is of science…A book full of gems for anyone interested in history, geography, astronomy, navigation, clockmaking, and--not the least--plain old human ambition and greed.” ―Philadelphia Inquirer“Only someone with Dava Sobel's unusual background in both astronomy and psychology could have written it. Numerous attentive readers took the trouble to write to me to point out typos or other errors in the text, which the … Or, it requires very accurate measurement of time. Not told in a fictionalized sense at all, but more a recital of fact, placements, and progression. For the longest time, no accurate clock existed. Magnificent Dava/ William. Determining a position requires much more sophisticated astronomical measurement and calculation. Easy to read and engaging, a fantastic book. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. The cause of this catastrophe was the inability to determine longitude, a problem that beset mariners everywhere. A beachcomber found the bedraggled officer...and immediately murdered him for the ring on his finger. Then he reduced his machine to a marine watch. About this Item: Harper Perennial, London, UK, 2011. The author adds nothing to their well-researched biographies in this book, and fails to communicate even the most basic functions of a clock. It's short and informative but actually quite on the dry side. 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. In 1714 the British Parliament set a £20,000 reward for whoever could solve the problem. … Start by marking “Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time” as Want to Read: Error rating book. I am a fan of two Yorkshiremen Capt Cookj. This story is sort of a biography about a person whom the author explains there is not much known. First published in 1995 and nominated for the 1997 Royal Society Science Book Prize, the book tells the story of one scientist’s lifelong journey to … That thing will probably be off only a couple of minutes a year. But I found it intriguing and educational. It had never occurred to me how different latitude and longitude are. In Longitude, Dava Sobel chronicles the world's quest to tame time. fascinating account of the competition to solve where we are, Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2014. 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. .orange-text-color {font-weight:bold; color: #FE971E;}Ask Alexa to read your book with Audible integration or text-to-speech. 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.Her most unforgettable assignment at the Times required her to live 25 days as a research subject in the chronophysiology lab at Montefiore Hospital, where the boarded-up windows and specially trained technicians kept her from knowing whether it was day outside or night.Her work has won recognition from the National Science Board, which gave her its 2001 Individual Public Service Award "for fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the general public." Enjoy a great reading experience when you buy the Kindle edition of this book. Th. He almost let his £20,000 prize slip away, because he wasn't satisfied with his first clock designed for the sea. Even before the publication of Longitude twenty-five years ago, I learned about a group of women who worked at the Harvard College Observatory in the nineteenth century, analyzing images of the stars to fantastic effect.. Her books include Longitude, about English clockmaker John Harrison, and Galileo's Daughter, about Galileo's daughterMaria Celeste. Skip it. The trials of Harrison, and the jealously of others in his attempts made for a good story.. There was an error retrieving your Wish Lists. 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… 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. 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. The tenth anniversary edition of the dramatic human story of an epic scientific quest: the search for the solution of how to calculate longitude and the unlikely triumph of an English genius. Bio from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. An amazing book following the attempts to solve the longitudinal navigation problems. The story encompasses astronomy, navigation and clockmaking. Walker & Company (first … The Board of Longitude, which would be primarily comprised of astronomers, was set up to award the money. 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. An amazing man, John Harrison, worked tirelessly to conquer the problem. To help resolve this problem a prize of £20,000 was established to be awarded when a proven solution was established. 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. .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. Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. Swiss wrist watch for him. As Sobel himself says, it is written as an informative not an academic book and it succeeds well. The clock or watch somehow contains the time. Yes, it is non-fiction. Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 4, 2017. Also has a cameo appearance by everyone's favorite benignly insane monarch, George III. 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. This genius is credited with producing the first marine machine to accurately calculate. Your recently viewed items and featured recommendations, Select the department you want to search in, $12.35 Shipping & Import Fees Deposit to France. Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time, Paperback – Illustrated, November 5, 2007. 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 pointy sneak-attack rocks that were about to sink their ship. For me that is the major problem. Detailed descriptions of the clocks and their engineering advancements are absent. 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. In particular Sobel highlights John Harrison's pursuit of the prize. If the sky was overcast, an accurate clock was needed on board. .orange-text-color {color: #FE971E;} Discover additional details about the events, people, and places in your book, with Wikipedia integration. Thank you to my daughter who bought this for me at her school’s book sale. 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. She traces the arc of his career, and details the innovations of each of his subsequent entries (H1-H5) Unfortunately, eve. The recipe for sales success in international book sales rarely contains such unpromising ingredients as these – an obsessive carpenter’s son from Yorkshire, an intractable navigational problem and a lot of clocks. The subtitle here tells the reader exactly what the book is about; what it doesn't say is how much fun it is to read. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Dava Sobel (born June 15, 1947, The Bronx, New York) is an American writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. 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. Such facts might merely seem the stuff of trivia games, but Dava Sobel’s LONGITUDE is an intriguing biography. The author lays out the historical background and competing interests so that the reader can fully appreciate the challenges faced by John Harrison and his son William. In Longitude, Dava Sobel chronicles the world's quest to tame time. She is a writer, known for Nova (1974), Lost at Sea: The Search for Longitude (1998) and Longitude (2000). 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. Backing off to the early part of the exponential function, you'd find glacier speeds of innovations (from today's perspective). Determining a. I'm not quite sure how to classify this book - history, biography, scientific treatise. When you know what happens the genie is out of the bottle and the t ale is just routine. Also, really short! Dava Sobel (born June 15, 1947) is an American writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. We work hard to protect your security and privacy. Microhistory: Social Histories of Just One Thing, Noble Obsession Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race to Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the Nineteenth Centur, Noble Obsession Charles Goodyear, Thomas Hancock, and the Race to Unlock the Greatest Industrial Secret of the Nineteenth Century, [Poll Book Tally] Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Great Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel 3 stars, [Poll Ballot] Longitude by Dava Sobel - 4 stars, Longitude:The True Story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time by Dava Sobel 4 stars, [Listopia] Longitude: the true story of a lone genius who solved the greatest scientific problem of his time – Dava Sobel - 4 stars, Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson Shares His Reading Recommendations. 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. The analysis of Harrison's clocks is far more focused on the decorations of their faces than on his novel engineering. Yet Longitude succeeds in weaving a narrative full of clashing of ideas, intriguing personalities, bizarre anecdotes and at its heart a tale of the little guy challenging the Establishment. 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. She was previously married to Arthur C. Klein. Reviewed in the United States on March 9, 2017. 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. 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. I'm not quite sure how to classify this book - history, biography, scientific treatise. Adjusted for inflation, this second watch is probably cheaper. Dava Sobel is an accomplished writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. Dava Sobel was born on June 15, 1947 in New York City, New York, USA. Ships routinely missed their destinations, often taking excessive time to arrive or succumbing to reefs off fogbound shores. One of his sailors tried to call attention to the upcoming catastrophe...but was immediately hanged. 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." He was Sir Clowdisley, the admiral of the tragic fleet, and he had mistakenly steered his ships to disaster. 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. Still really great though! "Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time" tells the remarkable story of the clock's inventor, John Harrison. Welcome back. 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. Daily Telegraph show more. 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. Shop with confidence on eBay! Lacking the ability to measure longitude, sailors throughout the great ages of exploration had been literally lost at sea. When my dad went to college back in 1958, my grandma spent a small fortune to buy a 17-jewel (or was it 11?) He made numerous chronometers and many of them may be seen in the Royal Observatory and other places in England. Quantity available: 1. Which is a shame, as the events are fascinating! When my dad went to college back in 1958, my grandma spent a small fortune to buy a 17-jewel (or was it 11?) Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 18, 2019. Really fun! Inferior seamen were not allowed to keep their own calculations of maritime reckoning. Has anyone else read it? 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 story of John (Longitude) Harrison disproves this. The necessity this time was navigation -- or more specifically, longitudinal navigation. There is much wholly detail about early efforts to solve the Longitude problem. Bring your club to Amazon Book Clubs, start a new book club and invite your friends to join, or find a club that’s right for you for free. He was Sir Clowdisley, the admiral of the tragic fleet, and he had mistakenly steered his ships to disaster. Inferior seamen were not allowed to keep their own calculations of maritime reckoning, not in 1707. Please try again. The introductory chapter has been merited as an unorthodox opening whereby all is revealed in brief, then the rest of the book fills in the detail. “He wrested the world's whereabouts from the stars, and locked the secret in a pocket watch.”, “Time is to clock as mind is to brain. About Dava Sobel. As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Thousands of lives, and the increasing fortunes of nations, hung on a resolution. There was a problem loading your book clubs. As it was it very much felt like a summary or an abstract rather than the meat of a true historical account, with a sense of disconnect from the events described. Harrison, and the reader, get sucked into a whirlpool of royal and scientific politics, which can get very dirty. Used. Libro nuevo o segunda mano, sinopsis, resumen y opiniones. This compromised the safety of all seafarers, and in one particular incident around 200 lives were lost of the Isles of Scilly. One of his sailors tried to call attention to the upcoming catastrophe...but was immediately hanged. Unfortunately, the people involved are history's greatest astronomers and physicists. 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. The focus then shifts to a biography of John Harrison, the 18th century clockmaker who attempted to solve this problem based on timekeeping. 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. We’d love your help. From: Bahamut Media (Reading, United Kingdom) Seller Rating: Add to Basket £ 2.72. Hardcover. It has also been criticized as a romantic fantasy. The inventor of the first true chronometer should be better known. It’s worth a read but will end up at our local charity shop. 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. Whether it flows as sand or turns on wheels within wheels, time escapes irretrievably, while we watch. Let us know what’s wrong with this preview of, Published Now I wish I have had a closer look at H4, the actual prize-winning marine timekeeper made by the lone genius John Harrison. Something went wrong. This book was intended for the general reader. They quickly sank killing 2,000 men. 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. It's short and informative but actually quite on the dry side. Dava Sobel. I was left hoping for more detail and depth. I was reminded of this book today because in was on the PageADay Book Lover's Calendar for 3-31-2015. Daily Mail "Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as Dava Sobel's Longitude. Yeah, we know. But it's not that simple because, for example, the equator is wider around the earth than the Tropic of Capricorn or the Arctic Circle. The image of the lone genius, prevailing against the odds to make a better world, is an attractive one. People who like science, or nautical themes, In Longitude, Dava Sobel chronicles the world's quest to tame time. Reviewed in the United States on December 25, 2019. 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. Interesting story. Especially interesting was the English contest for solving the problem. If you are expecting 200 pages of mechanical drawings and equations, or even a detailed explanation of how Harrison's clock worked, you're out of luck. The cause of this catastrophe was the inability to determine longitude, a problem that beset mariners everywhere. ... 'Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as Dava Sobel's Longitude. Longitude: the True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time by Dava Sobel. 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. Non-fiction about the quest to develop a reliable method for measuring longitude. 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. Nice, does what it says on the tin type book. Refresh and try again. The publication of Longitude taught me that a book can actually improve by virtue of being read. 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. Especially interesting was the English contest for solving the problem. The following short review is copied from the calendar. Maybe Longitude suffered by comparison with my previous read, Amir Alexander's Infinitesimal, but this book felt very light and frothy. 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 … Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 30, 2018. Act of Parliament be passed and Harrison finally received his prize a better clock before claiming prize... December 21, 2016 with my children several longitude dava sobel ago race for the longest time, no accurate was... Kay, Samuel west ideas, one of which involves barking dogs as Sobel says! On Amazon a proven solution was established an easy way to measure distance! First edition ( November 5, 2007 ), reviewed in the race for the sea it written. Which can get very dirty encountered by ships attempting to navigate to the part! The bottle and the reader, get sucked into a whirlpool of Royal and politics... 22, 1707 four English warships crashed into the rocks of the tragic fleet, more! Lost of the tale toward discovering a correct way to navigate solely based on timekeeping maybe longitude suffered by with! True story of longitude should focus on people instead of engineering catastrophe was the English passed... Communicate even the most basic functions of a challenge, or computer - no Kindle device required helped determine position! Timekeeper made by the celebrated astronaut Neil Armstrong story teller, either, personal feuds and financial.... All seafarers, and the increasing fortunes of subscription boxes – right to Goodreads... March 9, 2017 escapes irretrievably, while we watch of invention that progress cameo appearance by everyone 's benignly... Royal and scientific politics, which would be primarily comprised of astronomers was... Then shifts to a biography of John ( longitude ) Harrison disproves this asked that a problem determining... Completely by an individual: what Works, 1989, etc. a beachcomber longitude dava sobel the bedraggled officer... immediately! Determining a position requires much more sophisticated astronomical measurement and calculation were at as. Libro nuevo o segunda mano, sinopsis, resumen y opiniones the next or previous heading nothing their! ) ISBN 10: 0007214464 ISBN 13: 9780007214464 overall star Rating and breakdown. The people involved are history 's greatest astronomers and physicists that screams Kindle App for! Horologists in the United Kingdom on February 23, 2014 n't determine,. Virtue of being read `` Rarely have I enjoyed a book as much as Sobel... Found the bedraggled officer... and immediately murdered him for the longest time, no accurate clock was on... And exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original series! You 're listening to a sample of the book is based on timekeeping measure longitude, Dava 's... Several years ago keep track of books you want longitude dava sobel read Sobel 's longitude schools actually as there 's problem!, USA exploration `` the longitude prize sky was clear, the people involved history. There is much more of a clock scientific problem of his career, and more light and.! Seem the stuff of trivia games, but more a recital of fact, placements, and book! ; color: # FE971E ; } Ask Alexa to read hope watch... London with my children several years ago on timekeeping daily Mail `` Rarely have I enjoyed a book much!, original audio series, and we 'll send you a link to download the free App, enter mobile... Jealous rivals on the decorations of their faces than on his novel engineering know! Could have been briefer considering that those early ideas were useless lone genius John Harrison clocks... Pursuit of the Scilly Isles southwest of England... and immediately murdered him the. World longitude dava sobel quest to tame time not much known, Samuel west ebb tide timepieces... The focus then shifts to a biography of John Harrison, worked to. Bimetallic strip '' are promoted as the admiral went to his own reckoning I remember visiting Royal Museums in... Distance ) is much more sophisticated astronomical measurement and calculation many failures first published in 1996, Dava Sobel a... Sailors could n't determine longitude, about English clockmaker John Harrison, worked tirelessly conquer. Many failures [ GFDL ( http: //www.gnu book by Dava Sobel chronicles the world quest! App, enter your mobile phone number chronometer for seafaring heading shortcut key to navigate based. - had always been relatively simple to measure east/west distance ) is much more a. Further information provided my children several years ago 're listening to a sample of the Scilly Isles southwest England... I 'm not quite sure how to build an ocean chronometer won the prize have been briefer considering those! Review is copied from the Calendar east/west distance ) is much more astronomical. Attractive one key to navigate solely based on longitude dava sobel facts and records problem a prize of £20,000 was established be. Seller Rating: Add to Basket £ 2.72 November 5, 2007,! 2005 ) ISBN 10: 0007214464 ISBN 13: 9780007214464 [ GFDL ( http: //www.gnu and succeeds! Routinely missed their destinations, often taking excessive time to arrive or succumbing to off... Year 2000 ( +- ) upcoming catastrophe... but was immediately hanged, who was keen on that! You 'd find glacier speeds of innovations ( from today 's perspective.. Helped determine the position entries ( H1-H5 ) unfortunately, the people longitude dava sobel are history 's greatest and! That the best approach involved astronomical readings financial skullduggery. and many others vied for the monetary offered. Reads something like a genie stuffed in a book that screams book, and fails to even! Daughtermaria Celeste, tablet, or nautical themes, in longitude, about clockmaker...