The Map That Changed the World - William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology-logo

The Map That Changed the World - William Smith and the Birth of Modern Geology

Simon Winchester

From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of the father of modern geology In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell -- clear across England and clear across the world. Obsessed with creating a map that would showcase his discovery, Smith spent the next twenty years traveling England alone, studying rock outcroppings and gathering information. In 1815 he published a hand-painted map more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. But four years later, swindled out of his profits, Smith ended up in debtors' prison. His wife went mad. He lived as a homeless man for ten long years. Eventually a kindly aristocrat discovered him; Smith, the quiet genius and 'father of geology' was brought back to London and showered with the honors that he rightly deserved. Here now is his astounding story.

From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of the father of modern geology In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell -- clear across England and clear across the world. Obsessed with creating a map that would showcase his discovery, Smith spent the next twenty years traveling England alone, studying rock outcroppings and gathering information. In 1815 he published a hand-painted map more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. But four years later, swindled out of his profits, Smith ended up in debtors' prison. His wife went mad. He lived as a homeless man for ten long years. Eventually a kindly aristocrat discovered him; Smith, the quiet genius and 'father of geology' was brought back to London and showered with the honors that he rightly deserved. Here now is his astounding story.
More Information

Genres:

History

Description:

From the author of the bestselling The Professor and the Madman comes the fascinating story of the father of modern geology In 1793, William Smith, the orphan son of a village blacksmith, made a startling discovery that was to turn the science of geology on its head. While surveying the route for a canal near Bath, he noticed that the fossils found in one layer of the rocks he was excavating were very different from those found in another. And out of that realization came an epiphany: that by following these fossils one could trace layers of rocks as they dipped, rose and fell -- clear across England and clear across the world. Obsessed with creating a map that would showcase his discovery, Smith spent the next twenty years traveling England alone, studying rock outcroppings and gathering information. In 1815 he published a hand-painted map more than eight feet tall and six feet wide. But four years later, swindled out of his profits, Smith ended up in debtors' prison. His wife went mad. He lived as a homeless man for ten long years. Eventually a kindly aristocrat discovered him; Smith, the quiet genius and 'father of geology' was brought back to London and showered with the honors that he rightly deserved. Here now is his astounding story.

Language:

English

Length:

10h


Chapters

Free Sample

05:00

Introduction
Introduction

09:13


Chapter 1
Chapter 1

15:33


Chapter 2
Chapter 2

29:49


Chapter 3
Chapter 3

28:25


Chapter 4
Chapter 4

32:11


Chapter 5
Chapter 5

34:48


Chapter 6
Chapter 6

21:52


Chapter 7
Chapter 7

24:33


Chapter 8
Chapter 8

26:45


Chapter 9
Chapter 9

33:14


Chapter 10
Chapter 10

46:47


Chapter 11
Chapter 11

53:01


Chapter 12
Chapter 12

58:21


Chapter 13
Chapter 13

33:24


Chapter 14
Chapter 14

23:51


Chapter 15
Chapter 15

25:44


Chapter 16
Chapter 16

27:58


Chapter 17
Chapter 17

17:23


Chapter 18
Chapter 18

18:25


Chapter 19
Chapter 19

00:20


Chapter 20
Chapter 20

39:12