Compass: A Story of Exploration and Innovation

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9780393050738: Compass: A Story of Exploration and Innovation

A history of the compass describes its pivotal role in early shipping, relating how its development over the course of hundreds of years was marked by thousands of shipwrecks and the disastrous fates of sailors who misused it. 30,000 first printing.

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About the Author:

ALAN GURNEY, a yacht designer and photographer turned full-time writer, lives in Suffolk. He is the author of the highly acclaimed Below the Convergence and the widely praised The Race to the White Continent. Both books are available from Norton.

From AudioFile:

What happens if you're in the middle of the English Channel and you don't know in what direction you're heading? Likely as not, you'll crash on an inopportune rock. Pull out your trusty compass, though, and you may make it home safe. Alan Gurney has written a fascinating history of the magnetic compass, and John Lee, whose voice simply sounds briny, reads it beautifully. From the discovery of the magnetic lodestone in the twelfth century through 600 years of attempts, some crazy, some brilliant, to make it easy to use, Gurney and Lee keep us tied to the mast. Gurney includes rollicking adventure and informative historical digressions, and Lee reads both with ease. He also sounds as interested in chapters about testing a lodestone's properties as about crashing and burning on the Scilly Islands; his interest keeps listeners interested. This is an educational book that is also useful for cocktail-party chatter. So, how long MUST a needle rest on a lodestone in order to become magnetized? A.C.S. © AudioFile 2005, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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