The Map That Changed the World by Simon Winchester audiobook

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

By Simon Winchester
Read by Simon Winchester

HarperAudio
9.98 Hours Unabridged
Format: Digital Download (In Stock)
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    ISBN: 9780060746070

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From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of the father of modern geologyIn 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell -- clear across England and clear across the world. Obsessed with creating a map that would showcase his discovery, Smith spent the next twenty years traveling England alone, studying rock outcroppings and gathering information. In 1815 he published a hand-painted map more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. But four years later, swindled out of his profits, Smith ended up in debtors' prison. His wife went mad. He lived as a homeless man for ten long years. Eventually a kindly aristocrat discovered him; Smith, the quiet genius and 'father of geology' was brought back to London and showered with the honors that he rightly deserved. Here now is his astounding story.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times bestseller

One of the 2001 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of the father of modern geology

In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell -- clear across England and clear across the world.

Obsessed with creating a map that would showcase his discovery, Smith spent the next twenty years traveling England alone, studying rock outcroppings and gathering information. In 1815 he published a hand-painted map more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. But four years later, swindled out of his profits, Smith ended up in debtors' prison. His wife went mad. He lived as a homeless man for ten long years.

Eventually a kindly aristocrat discovered him; Smith, the quiet genius and 'father of geology' was brought back to London and showered with the honors that he rightly deserved. Here now is his astounding story.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Winchester brings Smith's struggle to life in clear and beautiful language.” New York Times Book Review
“Winchester masterfully weaves a compelling history.” Newsday
“Smith’s unsung life provides the perfect backdrop for yet another entertaining intellectual history.” Denver Post
“Well-researched narrative.” Businessweek
“With descriptive contemporary visitations to places significant to the story and well-chosen historical detail, he makes immediate not only the magnitude and elegance of Smith's accomplishment, but also the thrill of each of the moments of genius necessary to reach his ultimate conclusion. Smith's life provides a terrific plot to frame his contribution to science. Winchester's wonderful account does credit to it.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Simon Winchester

Author Bio: Simon Winchester

Simon Winchester is the acclaimed author of many books, including The Professor and the Madman, The Man Who Loved China, A Crack in the Edge of the World, and Krakatoa—all of which were New York Times bestsellers and appeared on numerous best and notable lists. In 2006 Winchester was made an officer of the Order of the British Empire by her Majesty the Queen. He lives in Manhattan and in western Massachusetts.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Runtime: 9.98
Audience: Adult
Language: English