Welcome to the NavList Message Boards.


A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding

Compose Your Message

Add Images & Files
    Re: Twenty years of "Longitude" and twenty years of GPS
    From: Frank Reed
    Date: 2015 Mar 14, 14:36 -0700

    It's worth mentioning that at least one person, George Huxtable (*), highly knowledgeable in navigation, considered Sobel's "Longitude" a "despicable little bookling" (read here). That was way over the top, and it was an example, in part, of a major misunderstanding of the significance of lunars and Nevil Maskelyne in the history of navigation. For me Sobel's "Longitude" earned a grade of B, and its flaws were manageable. And of course its influence, a few flaws aside, was massive and overwhelmingly positive.

    Incidentally, the mini-series "Longitude" with Jeremy Irons as Rupert Gould and Michael Gambon as John Harrison highlights the flaws of the original Sobel book --and in the wrong direction. Maskelyne is portrayed as an incompetent fool. He was many things, possibly a fool, but he was highly competent in his specific area of expertise. I do not recommend the mini-series, except for popcorn entertainment. But I will again recommend the Nova documentary based on Longitude, and I do recommend the recent book "Finding Longitude" as a worthy successor to Sobel's now twenty-year-old work.

    Frank Reed
    Conanicut Island USA
    * For those relatively new to NavList, I should note that George Huxtable passed away just over three years ago.

    Browse Files

    Drop Files


    What is NavList?

    Join NavList

    (please, no nicknames or handles)
    Do you want to receive all group messages by email?
    Yes No

    You can also join by posting. Your first on-topic post automatically makes you a member.

    Posting Code

    Enter the email address associated with your NavList messages. Your posting code will be emailed to you immediately.

    Email Settings

    Posting Code:

    Custom Index

    Start date: (yyyymm dd)
    End date: (yyyymm dd)

    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site
    Visit this site