BOOKS ✪ The Map That Changed the World: The Tale of William Smith And the Birth of a Science Author Simon Winchester –

The Map That Changed the World: The Tale of William Smith And the Birth of a Science I read this book several years ago as I have had an interest in geology I ordered this copy for a great nephew who is about to study geology at university The story of William Smith is an inspiration to anyone as he doggedly pursued his research in the face of opposition from the upper classes It a wonderful true tale of an underdog who eventually succeeds through hard work and belief in himself. An Extraordinary Tale Of The Father Of Modern Geology From The Author Of The International No Bestseller THE SURGEON OF CROWTHORNE 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 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 , When A Yorkshire Aristocrat Recognised His Genius, That He Was Returned To London In Triumph THE MAP THAT CHANGED THE WORLD Is His Story Simon Winchester has woven a splendid story with a dry subject The book kept me absorbed for a week Whenever I decided to take a break from reading a chapter my inquisitiveness got over my lethargy and made me to read the book continuously What made me obsessed with the book though it contained so many scientific jargons and was dealing with a very dry subject It is nothing but the sheer style of Simon s writing Few of my colleague readers may wonder why I am so much obsessed with the author s style rather than with the subject It is not out of place to mention here that what bogged the rustic geologist, Mr.William in his endeavour , is nothing but the art of expression and the style the lack of which stood as an insurmountable obstacle to his producing two volumes which he promised to his subscribers Mr.Williams, though a genius, was an uneducated rustic, who could not form his thoughts cogently and express them in simple sentences which stood in his way of producing the promised books to his readers At this juncture I am reminded of the great English Man, Mr.William Cobbet who was a plough man and who taught himself the elementary principles of Grammar which ultimately made him one of the masters of English Prose Mr.Cobbett, who was practically an English Yeoman, was sympathetic to the rural poor of England, who could not effectively draft petitions to King in clear terms explaining the enormous difficulties faced by them and the relief needed by them from His Majesty To such poor people Cobbeett was helpful in drafting petitions to the King and Government in clear terms It is a pity that though England was having a number of literate persons at the e period of William Smith no one came forward to helping him to put his thoughts in an orderly fashion for publishing a book on geology which would have been of immense help to the posterity.Summing up the whole matter I state that I enjoyed the book very muchWith regardsMuralidharan The story of William Smith s discoveries when he was a surveyor employed to use intruments to help him direct railway workers on how much hill could be taken away or tunneling through a hill so that the rail could reasonably run on there As a child on his father s farm he noticed objects that were commonly in the soil from fossils but he learnt this later and realised that the strata he found in these hundreds of miles of digging were the same strata is some parts of the country but not in others He began to map them all meticulously and found fossils common to each Eventually he put them in the building made especially for this in the Rotunda Mueum in Scarborough after creating the first huge map of Great Britain showing all the various strata in the country It is a facinating story and was not easy for him to be recognised for other richer men wanted his knowledge and fame for themselves Cynthia Allen McLaglen A book on fossils and the establishment of the science of geology a fascinating and compulsive read you must be joking But Simon Winchester recounts the original thought and breakthrough that William Smith made in the late 1700 s that became not just the science of geology but provided the basis that helped Charles Darwin formulate his ideas And he does it in such an entertaining way.Andrew Smith s great breakthrough was his realisation that all rocks laid down as sediments at a particular time and in a particular place are laid down with the same characteristics and the same fossils always appear in the same stratigraphical order Therefore by noting the fossils found, he could forecast the order of strata beneath them and so produce a geological map.And he went on to geologically map the whole of the British Isles, producing his masterpiece in 1815 He also realised that the recent strata contained fossils that appeared to be higher forms of life than the fossils in strata lower down and hence provided the evidence that creation was not exactly 6,000 years ago when all species were simultaneously created as was the prevailing belief Smith recognised and produced the evidence that life far older than mankind had once existed on the planet.But what makes the book so readable is the story of William Smith s life set in the social history of the time He was from a lower class who learned his trade as an apprentice land surveyor at the times of the enclosures, then as a mining surveyor and then a surveyor for the canal boom His theories were developed from his observations and his practical experience.But not being a member of the aristocracy created an almost insurmountable barrier to the acceptance of his ideas and his involvement in the burgeoning societies for scientific development But there were well connected doctors MP s vicars Joseph Townsend and Benjamin Richardson who recognised Smith s brilliance and assisted him to formulate and write down his ideas And particularly Sir Joseph Banks a prominent member of the aristocracy who sponsored him.But he remained unrecognised and in deep financial trouble for much of his life 30 nights in a debtors prison all his possessions taken his outstanding fossil collection sold to pay his bills But fortunately in his old age, the new enlightened society did recognise him as one of the most significant men of the 19th century and gave him the honours and respect he deserved.

About the Author: Simon Winchester

Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the The Map That Changed the World: The Tale of William Smith And the Birth of a Science book, this is one of the most wanted Simon Winchester author readers around the world.

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