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    Re: Ted Gerrard's book
    From: Alexandre Eremenko
    Date: 2007 Nov 15, 00:28 -0500

    
    Frank,
    I only read a 10 pages advertizing booklet of
    this book, but the thing that surprised me most
    at one was the mentioning of Capitan Edmund Halley, RN.
    It is amazing that this captain's name
    is exactly the same as of the
    great astronomer (and Newton's friend) Edmund Halley.
    I was so surprised that I even checked the biography
    of Edmund Halley (the astronomer). And of course it
    is very unloikely that this is the same person:-)
    
    Alex.
    
    On Wed, 14 Nov 2007 frankreed{at}HistoricalAtlas.net wrote:
    
    > Ted sent me a copy of his book, in trade for a copy of my historical atlas
    > software. I've been reading through it for a few days now. It's fascinating.
    > I find something intriguing on almost every page. I would not say that I
    > agree with ALL of his conclusions, but that does not detract from the book's
    > value in any way. The prose is breezy and clear, and there are plenty of
    > useful diagrams, including one that is intriguingly labeled "A drawing of
    > the author's working model of Newton's brass marine octant." Got a photo for
    > us, Ted?? :-) The only real flaw I have found so far is that the references
    > are a little sparse. For one example, he mentions that one Mary Mumford,
    > resident of the Scillies, confessed on her deathbed to possessing Sir
    > Cloudesley Shovell's large emerald ring. How do we know it was "Mary
    > Mumford" and what was the source for that? I also noticed a certain parallel
    > to Sobel's story when approaching the "bad guy" problem. Dava Sobel, in her
    > book, wrote, "A story that hails a hero must also hiss at a villain --in
    > this case, the Reverend Nevil Maskelyne." While Ted Gerrard, in his book,
    > writes, "If this story must have a villain to balance the heroic qualities
    > of Halley, Cloudesley Shovell is the man who best fits the part." Just so
    > we're clear here, I'm not suggesting any sort of direct influence, just a
    > parallel approach to history, an approach that may get one into trouble.
    > Heroes and villains? All of us mortals are flawed, imperfect beings.
    >
    > As a teaser, I'll quote a paragraph from the back cover of the book:
    > "Sir Isaac Newton never mentioned his only invention again and Captain
    > Edmond Halley, RN, never published any details of how he determined either
    > latitude or longitude on any of his voyages of discovery aboard Paramore. He
    > did however publish a warning to mariners over the incorrect location of the
    > Scilly Isles - a warning his commander-in-chief Admiral Sir Cloudesley
    > Shovell foolishly ignored."
    >
    > For general inerest, I'm attaching a copy of the actual pages which include
    > the warning about the latitude of the Scillies as published in the
    > Transactions of the Royal Society in 1701/02.
    >
    > Ted's theory, that Shovell "foolishly ignored" this refined latitude, makes
    > sense only if Shovell did NOT believe his vessels were in a different
    > longitude. That is, if he had NO firm idea of his vessels' longitude, or if
    > he believed his longitude might be rather close to the longitude of the
    > Scillies, then of course he would have avoided ANY reported latitude for the
    > Scillies. But if he believed his longitude placed him a day's sail or more
    > to the west of the Scillies, then it's a different matter altogether. A
    > commander orders his ships to sail into stormy darkness only if he believes
    > he's nowhere near land --unless he's an idiot, which, I admit, is always a
    > possibility.
    >
    >  -FER
    > http://www.HistoricalAtlas.com/lunars
    >
    >
    > >
    >
    
    
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