This book was left at my OBCZ, unregistered.
From the cover -
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 plagarism, 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 the world-changing discovery.
I read this last year - my review -
4/27/03 - Just finished this - definitely a worthwhile read. First several chapters were a bit tedious, since there was a lot of historical background being filled in. But once the story advanced to William Smith, and how he was able to discern his geological knowledge when the science was in its infancy stages, it was much more interesting. Interesting to see how this uneducated man, though thought by many to be an expert in his field, was still ignored and exploited by the rich and well-educated upper class men who formed the scientific societies in early 18th century England.
Released 13 yrs ago (10/24/2004 UTC) at Pour House Cafe in Westminster, Maryland USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Taking to our BC get-together this afternoon. If no one takes it, then it'll be on the shelf in the back room.