Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time - Chapter 11: Trial by Fire and Water Summary & Analysis

Dava Sobel
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Chapter 11: Trial by Fire and Water Summary and Analysis

We meet our villain - Nevil Maskelyne - "the seaman's astronomer" as he was known. The author suggests the Maskelyne acted not out of wickedness but of stubbornness. But Harrison despised him nonetheless, but not without justification. Maskelyne was a major proponent of the lunar distance method. He was obsessed with discovering a solution. He was about forty years younger than Harrison although apparently he always seemed old and uppity. He had an elite education and was among the members of the elite classes. He was also a companion of James Bradley.

In the meanwhile, H-3 and H-4 were set to be tested at sea by William, Harrison's son. But apparently Dr. Bradley deliberately delayed the trial for his own gain while Maskelyne was testing the lunar method. Bradley wanted to...

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Buy the Longitude: The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time Study Guide
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