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Title:The Map that Changed the World: William Smith & the Birth of Modern Geology
Format Type:Ebook
Author:
Publisher:HarperCollins
ISBN:0060193611
ISBN 13:
Number of Pages:329
Category:History, Non fiction, Science, Biography, Geology, Geography

The Map that Changed the World: William Smith & the Birth of Modern Geology by Simon Winchester, Soun Vannithone

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Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers, A Crack in the Edge of the World, Atlantic: Great Sea Battles, Heroic Discoveries, Titanic Storms & a Vast Ocean of a Million Stories, The Map That Changed the World, The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom, The River at the Center of the World: A Journey Up the Yangtze & Back in Chinese Time, The Meaning of Everything: The Story of the Oxford English Dictionary, The Men Who United the States: America's Explorers, Inventors, Eccentrics and Mavericks, and the Creation of One Nation, Indivisible, The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
In 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 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 br br i The Map That Changed the World i 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, From the best selling author of The Professor and the Madman The Map That Changed the World and Krakatoa comes a truly wonderful celebration of the English language and of its unrivaled treasure house the Oxford English Dictionary br Writing with marvelous brio Winchester first serves up a lightning history of the English language so vast so sprawling so wonderfully unwieldy and pays homage to the great dictionary makers from the irredeemably famous Samuel Johnson to the short pale smug and boastful schoolmaster from New Hartford Noah Webster He then turns his unmatched talent for story telling to the making of this most venerable of dictionaries In this fast paced narrative the reader will discover lively portraits of such key figures as the brilliant but tubercular first editor Herbert Coleridge grandson of the poet the colorful boisterous Frederick Furnivall who left the project in a shambles and James Augustus Henry Murray who spent a half century bringing the project to fruition Winchester lovingly describes the nuts and bolts of dictionary making how unexpectedly tricky the dictionary entry for marzipan was or how fraternity turned out so much longer and monkey so much more ancient than anticipated and how bondmaid was left out completely its slips found lurking under a pile of books long after the B volume had gone to press We visit the ugly corrugated iron structure that Murray grandly dubbed the Scriptorium the Scrippy or the Shed as locals called it and meet some of the legion of volunteers from Fitzedward Hall a bitter hermit obsessively devoted to the OED to W C Minor whose story is one of dangerous madness ineluctable sadness and ultimate redemption br The Meaning of Everything is a scintillating account of the creation of the greatest monument ever erected to a living language Simon Winchester s supple vigorous prose illuminates this dauntingly ambitious project a seventy year odyssey to create the grandfather of all word books the world s unrivalled uber dictionary, Rising in the mountains of the Tibetan border the Yangtze River the symbolic heart of China pierces miles of rugged country before debouching into the oily swells of the East China Sea Connecting China s heartland cities with the volatile coastal giant Shanghai it has also historically connected China to the outside world through its nearly one thousand miles of navigable waters To travel those waters is to travel back in history to sense the soul of China and Simon Winchester takes us along with him as he encounters the essence of China its history and politics its geography and climate as well as engage in its culture and its people in remote and almost inaccessible places This is travel writing at its best lively informative and thoroughly enchanting br, Variably genial cautionary lyrical admonitory terrifying horrifying and inspiring A lifetime of thought travel reading imagination and memory inform this affecting account em Kirkus Reviews em starred review br br Blending history and anecdote geography and reminiscence science and exposition em New York Times em bestselling author Simon Winchester tells the breathtaking saga of the Atlantic Ocean A gifted storyteller and consummate historian Winchester sets the great blue sea s epic narrative against the backdrop of mankind s intellectual evolution telling not only the story of an ocean but the story of civilization Fans of Winchester s em Krakatoa The Man Who Loved China em and em The Professor and the Madman em will love this masterful penetrating and resonant tale of humanity finding its way across the ocean of history