A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
Date: 2015 Mar 14, 21:58 -0000
Frank .I agree.
Both your recommendations very good. Also Sobel beautifully written and inspirational. Started many of us off on our obsession, and I love Harrison’s clocks .I keep visiting the tick- tocks whenever in London. Time will heal! (probably not! Tick- tock) Maskelyne more like an old wine, takes time to mature and appreciate. (yes he pompous ass, but Harrison yes a paranoid obsessive with all sorts of personality problems.)
From: NavList@fer3.com [mailto:NavList@fer3.com] On Behalf Of Frank Reed
Sent: 14 March 2015 21:42
Subject: [NavList] Re: Twenty years of "Longitude" and twenty years of GPS
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.
Conanicut Island USA
* For those relatively new to NavList, I should note that George Huxtable passed away just over three years ago.