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The book nobody read : chasing the revolutions of Nicolaus Copernicus

Author: Owen Gingerich
Publisher: New York : Walker & Company, 2004.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Publisher's description: In the spring of 1543 as the celebrated astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, lay on his death bed, his fellow clerics brought him a long-awaited package: the final printed pages of the book he had worked on for many years: De revolutionibus (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). Though Copernicus would not live to hear of its extraordinary impact, his book, which first suggested that the  Read more...
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Details

Genre/Form: Early works to 1800
Named Person: Nicolaus Copernicus; Nikolaus Kopernikus
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: Owen Gingerich
ISBN: 0802714153 9780802714152
OCLC Number: 53848371
Description: xii, 306 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm.
Contents: A day in court --
The chase begins --
In the steps of Copernicus --
The lenten pretzel and the Epicycles myth --
"Embellished by a distinguished man" --
The moment of truth --
The Wittich connection --
Bigger books linger longer --
Forbidden games --
The hub of the universe --
The invisible college --
Planetary influences --
Sophisticated ladies --
The iron curtain : before and after --
Putting the census to bed.
Responsibility: Owen Gingerich.
More information:

Abstract:

Publisher's description: In the spring of 1543 as the celebrated astronomer, Nicolaus Copernicus, lay on his death bed, his fellow clerics brought him a long-awaited package: the final printed pages of the book he had worked on for many years: De revolutionibus (On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres). Though Copernicus would not live to hear of its extraordinary impact, his book, which first suggested that the Sun, not the Earth, was the center of the universe, is today recognized as one of the most influential scientific works of all time₇thanks in part to astrophysicist Owen Gingerich. Four and a half centuries after its initial publication, Gingerich embarked on an epic quest to see in person all extant copies of the first and second editions of De revolutionibus. He was inspired by two contradictory pieces of information: Arthur Koestler's claim, in his book The Sleepwalkers, that nobody had read Copernicus's book when it was published; and Gingerich's discovery, in Edinburgh, of a first edition richly annotated in the margins by the leading teacher of astronomy in Europe in the 1540s. If one copy had been so quickly appreciated, Gingerich reasoned, perhaps others were as well--and perhaps they could throw new light on a hinge point in the history of astronomy. After three decades of investigation, and after traveling hundreds of thousands of miles across the globe--from Melbourne to Moscow, Boston to Beijing--Gingerich has written an utterly original book built on his experience and the remarkable insights gleaned from examining some 600 copies of De revolutionibus. He found the books owned and annotated by Galileo, Kepler and many other lesser-known astronomers whom he brings back to life, which illuminate the long, reluctant process of accepting the Sun-centered cosmos and highlight the historic tensions between science and the Catholic Church. He traced the ownership of individual copies through the hands of saints, heretics, scalawags, and bibliomaniacs. He was called as the expert witness in the theft of one copy, witnessed the dramatic auction of another, and proves conclusively that De revolutionibus was as inspirational as it was revolutionary. Part biography of a book, part scientific exploration, part bibliographic detective story, The Book Nobody Read recolors the history of cosmology and offers new appreciation of the enduring power of an extraordinary book and its ideas.

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Linked Data


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