Hardback
May 21, 2003
9780801871320
English
320
32
9.00 Inches (US)
6.00 Inches (US)
0.92 Inches (US)
1.25 Pounds (US)
$55.00 USD, £40.50 GBP
v2.1 Reference

Earth's Magnetism in the Age of Sail

From about 1600 to 1800 scientists and mariners made increasingly sophisticated attempts to understand the earth's magnetic field and use it in navigation. Europeans had long understood the difference between magnetic and true north, but why did it vary as one traversed the sea? Could this variation be used to pinpoint longitude? Drawing on a wealth of unpublished sources—including manuals, treatises, sailing directions, and logbooks in a half-dozen languages—A. R. T. Jonkers explores these early efforts both for what they reveal about the history of science and navigation and as a unique record of the actual changes in the earth's magnetic field. The result, a masterful combination of science and history, will appeal to a broad audience of specialists as well as general readers.

About the Author

A. R. T. Jonkers is University Fellow in the department of earth sciences at the University of Liverpool.

Reviews

"A fascinating tale at the interface of geophysics, maritime history, and the history of science... A remarkable blend of scientific and historical scholarship."

- Choice

"This book illuminates a dark corner of history and science from a unique and well-grounded perspective. By choosing to examine the natural phenomenon of Earth's magnetism within a historical context, A. R. T. Jonkers has found a way to lend both interest and accessibility to what otherwise could be an esoteric topic. Engaging, highly readable, and well written with sound scholarship, Earth's Magnetism in the Age of Sail is a valuable and original contribution to the history of science."

- Dr. Gregory Good, editor of Earth Sciences History and Director of the West Virginia Cultural Resource Management Certificate Program

"Jonkers has provided a truly interdisciplinary study that will be accessible to scientists as well as historians."

- Kathy S. Mason - History: Reviews of New Books

"In this ambitious work, the author sets out to rescue from obscurity the thousands of measurements of magnetic declination made by European sailors in the early modern period... The monumental contribution of information and insight brought by this study... will bear fruit well into the future."

- Jordan Kellman - International Journal of Maritime History

Endorsements

"This book is an exceptional achievement. A superb study at the interface of geophysics, maritime history, and the history of ideas. Jonkers has dared to take on the exacting task of crossing the boundaries between the natural sciences and the humanities, and he has succeeded brilliantly."

- Karel Davids, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

"This well-written and well-documented book is highly enjoyable... a historical treasure."

- Ronald T. Merrill, University of Washington, Seattle
Johns Hopkins University Press
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9780801871320 : earths-magnetism-in-the-age-of-sail-jonkers
Hardback
320 Pages
$55.00 USD

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