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    Re: Dava Sobel
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2006 Apr 30, 10:40 -0400

    Dear Frank,
    You wrote:
    > As for the  rest of Sobel's book, it's really very good (especially the
    > Illustrated  edition).
    I agree that the ILLUSTRATIONS in the illustrated edition are good,
    though sometimes misplaced.
    This is the reason why I checked the book.
    In fact I read it entirely, and I disagree with your opinion.
    Of course, it depends on the criteria on which you rate the book.
    Apparently you rate it as a "collection of anecdotes about some people
    related to the discovery of Longitude". I agree that it is moderately
    entertaining from this point of view.
    However a reader interested in the discovery of longitude,
    or in history of watchmaking will find NOTHING there.
    She is not only totally ignorant about Lunar distances and astronomy
    but also about watchmaking. What information can you find
    in the book
    any information on Harrison's inventions?
    Or in general, anything about clocks, chronometers?
    Look at her "description" of Harrison's chronometers:
    the describes the decorations on the dial and back side ONLY!
    (I imagine an indigeneous Hawaian of the time of Cook,
    would describe watches in similar style).
    Same I can say about her other book I read "Galileo's daughter".
    > As William F.
    > Buckley put  it: "an exquisitely done narrative of the chronometer".
    I found nothing "about chronometer" in this book.
    Only some fiction about Harrison and Maskelyne's CHARACTERS.
    But to read about characters, I would rather prefer a good novel.

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