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The Illustrated Longitude

Sobel, Dava

Book - 2003
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Illustrated Longitude
Describes the forty-year effort of John Harrison to invent the chronometer, the first instrument able to keep accurate time for navigational purposes.

Publisher: New York : Walker, 2003, c1995
Edition: 1st pbk. ed
ISBN: 1439559325
Branch Call Number: QB225 .S63 2003
Characteristics: 216 p. : ill. (some col.), maps (some col.) ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Andrewes, William J. H. 1950-


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Sep 30, 2013
  • library1172 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This book was an interesting and enjoyable read.

Mar 05, 2013
  • ClaireM_W rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I honestly did not expect to enjoy this book, thinking it would merely be "good for me". What a pleasure to be so wrong! Wonderful, personal writing of a significant story. Bonus : now I understand about longitudes.

Nov 04, 2012
  • macierules rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A good account of a fascinating story - wish it had been more compelling. I wish it was a novel.

Sep 05, 2012
  • johnami rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A brief, but precise account of the search for and discovery of a method for measuring longitude. The portrait of John Harrison (24 March 1693 – 24 March 1776) who developed the instrument for the task, is fascinating. He was a driven, brilliant man, capable of conquering the most complex obstacles. Under-appreciated in his time, his obsessiveness and awkward communication skills did not help to advance his cause or his unique genius. Although a commonplace issue today, assessing longitude was once a bane to the shipping industry and truly a matter of life and death. Not surprisingly, politics and greed delayed the solution and the recognition John Harrison deserved during his lifetime.


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Jul 15, 2011
  • GBradburn rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Great pictures to go with the text overall but I would have liked to see greater detail in the images for some of the components that were specifically referenced.


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