The Map That Changed the World

Author(s): Simon Winchester

Science | Travel

The first geological map was made by an Oxfordshire farmer's son called William Smith. His life was beset with troubles: his work was plagiarized, he was imprisoned for debt, his wife went insane and the scientific establishment shunned him. This is the tale of his life and work in modern geology.


Product Information

How could a map published as late as 1815 have 'changed the world'? Simon Winchester's fascinating book tells the story of William Smith and his literally ground-breaking researches into the stratification of rocks beneath the surfaces of the British Isles, which culminated in the production of a gigantic map which was to have tremendous repercussions for mining and other industries - as well as for science and even religion. Part biography of a self-made man (born the son of a blacksmith), part chapter in the history of the industrial revolution and part story of crucial developments in the new science of geology, Winchester's book also shows how that geology fed into the work of Darwin and others - by definitively revising Biblical accounts of the age of the Earth. It's one of those highly readable non-fiction accounts which cleverly transcends its apparently narrow focus. And it is likely to be as successful as the author's much-acclaimed The Surgeon of Crowthorne.

General Fields

  • : 9780670884070
  • : Penguin Books
  • : Viking
  • : 0.546
  • : July 2001
  • : 224mm X 145mm X 32mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Simon Winchester
  • : Hardback
  • : very good
  • : 352
  • : line illustrations