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Simon Winchester - The Map That Changed The World (2nd Hand Paperback)

£4.75
SKU B002032
  • Format : Standard Thick 2nd Hand Paperback
  • Condition : Good
  • Category : Non-Fiction - Geography, Earth Sciences & Space
  • Published : 2002 (Penguin)
  • ISBN : 9780140280395
  • SKU : B002032
  • PPC : SP400gm
  • RRP : £6.99
  • Quantity Available : 1 only.

This is the extraordinary tale of the father of modern geology and his contribution to society.

Hidden behind velvet curtains above a stairway in a house in London's Piccadilly is an enormous and beautiful hand-coloured map - the first geological map of anywhere in the world. Its maker was a farmer's son named William Smith.

Born in 1769 his life was beset by troubles: he was imprisoned for debt, turned out of his home, his work was plagiarised, his wife went insane and the scientific establishment shunned him.

It was not until 1829, when a Yorkshire aristocrat recognised his genius, that he was returned to London in triumph: The Map That Changed the World is his story.

Winchester's book also narrates the intellectual context of the time, the development of Smith's ideas and how they contributed to the theory of evolution and more generally to a dawning realisation of the true age of the earth.

The book describes the social, economic or industrial context for Smith's insights and work, such as the importance of coal mining and the transport of coal by means of canals, both of which were a stimulus to the study of geology and the means whereby Smith supported his research. Land owners wished to know if coal might be found on their holdings. Canal planning and construction depended on understanding the rock and soil along its route.

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