In the mid-nineteenth century, a group of remarkable women were employed by Harvard College Observatory as ‘Human Computers’ to interpret the observations made by their male counterparts. Enriched by excerpts from letters, diaries, and memoirs, Dava Sobel shines a light on the hidden history of these extraordinary women, who changed the burgeoning field of astronomy and our understanding of the stars and our place in the universe.
Galileo's daughter became a cloistered nun but continued to correspond with her father. These intelligent letters have been translated for the first time and are used to bring Galileo, his times and his beliefs to life as never before.
In 1714 clockmaker John Harrison took up the challenge to solve the longitude problem, and thus began a 40 year obsession and epic scientific quest to build the perfect timekeeper, known today as the chronometer.