A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos

A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos

Paperback

By (author) Dava Sobel

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  • Publisher: Walker & Company
  • Format: Paperback | 273 pages
  • Dimensions: 137mm x 208mm x 23mm | 272g
  • Publication date: 16 October 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 0802778941
  • ISBN 13: 9780802778949
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: black & white illustrations, maps, figures
  • Sales rank: 795,180

Product description

By 1514, the reclusive cleric Nicolaus Copernicus had developed an initial outline of his heliocentric theory-in which he defied common sense and received wisdom to place the sun, and not the earth, at the center of our universe, and set the earth spinning among the other planets. Over the next two decades, Copernicus expanded his theory and compiled in secret a book-length manuscript that tantalized mathematicians and scientists throughout Europe. For fear of ridicule, he refused to publish. In 1539, a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, drawn by rumors of a revolution to rival the religious upheaval of Martin Luther's Reformation, traveled to Poland to seek out Copernicus. Two years later, the Protestant youth took leave of his aging Catholic mentor and arranged to have Copernicus's manuscript published, in 1543, as De revolutionibus orbium coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres)-the book that forever changed humankind's place in the universe. In her elegant, compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles, as nobody has, the conflicting personalities and extraordinary discoveries that shaped the Copernican Revolution. At the heart of the book is her play "And the Sun Stood Still," imagining Rheticus's struggle to convince Copernicus to let his manuscript see the light of day.

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Author information

Dava Sobel is the acclaimed author of the internationally bestselling titles "Longitude," "Galileo's Daughter," "The Illustrated Longitude," and "The Planets." She lives in East Hampton, New York.

Review quote

"Ms. Sobel is an elegant stylist, a riveting and efficient storyteller, a writer who can bring the dustiest of subjects to full-blooded life -- poignant, in the case of Galileo; cautious but also loving, loyal and feisty in the case of Copernicus." --Katherine Bouton, "New York Times" "Lively, inventive...a masterly specimen of close-range cultural history. Ms. Sobel certainly brings Copernicus to life, perhaps better than any other author. Ms. Sobel presents a thoroughly researched and eminently readable account of a major scientist who celebrated the sun yet lurks in the shadows." - "The Wall Street Journal" "Dava Sobel describes [Copernicus's] life and his legacy in her enjoyable "A More Perfect Heaven..".[A] delightful immersion into tumultuous times...All this history is just the background for the heart of Sobel's book: the meeting of the aged Copernicus with the young German mathematician Georg Joachim Rheticus, who had heard of Copernicus's ideas and traveled to Polan