Map That Changed the World William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

ISBN-10: 0060931809
ISBN-13: 9780060931803
Edition: N/A
Authors: Simon Winchester
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Description: 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  More...

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Book details

List price: $13.95
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 7/30/2002
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 352
Size: 5.50" wide x 8.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.638
Language: English

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. Determined to expose what he realized was the landscape's secret fourth dimension, 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. Finally, in 1831, this quiet genius -- now known as the father of modern geology -- received the Geological Society of London's highest award and King William IV offered him a lifetime pension. 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.

Simon Winchester has written works based on his travels through Africa, India and Hong Kong, including The River at the Center of the World (1996), about his trip along the Yangtze River. He has also written The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Alice Behind Wonderland and served as the Asia-Pacific editor for Conde Nast Traveler. He lives in Massachusetts and in the Western Isles of Scotland. His title The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2013.

List of Illustrations
Prologue
Escape on the Northbound Stage
A Land Awakening from Sleep
The Mystery of the Chedworth Bun
The Duke and the Baronet's Widow
A Light in the Underworld
The Slicing of Somerset
The View from York Minster
Notes from the Swan
The Dictator in the Drawing Room
The Great Map Conceived
A Jurassic Interlude
The Map That Changed the World
An Ungentlemanly Act
The Sale of the Century
The Wrath of Leviathan
The Lost and Found Man
All Honor to the Doctor
Epilogue
Glossary of Geological and Other Unfamiliar Terms Found in This Book
Sources and Recommended Reading
Acknowledgments
Index

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