A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos

A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionised the Cosmos

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By (author) Dava Sobel

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  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • Format: Paperback | 288 pages
  • Dimensions: 135mm x 216mm x 25mm | 317g
  • Publication date: 5 September 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 140881983X
  • ISBN 13: 9781408819838
  • Edition statement: Export/Airside ed
  • Sales rank: 73,593

Product description

During the 1530s, rumours of a potentially revolutionary theory of how the heavens worked emanating from a small city in Poland began to spread throughout Europe. The architect of this theory was a Polish cleric named Nicolaus Copernicus. In around 1514 Copernicus had written and hand-copied an initial outline of his heliocentric theory, in which he placed the Sun, not the Earth, at the centre of our universe, with the planets, including the Earth, revolving about it. Titled his Commentariolus, it circulated among a very few astronomers. Over the next two decades Copernicus expanded his theory through hundreds of sightings, leading to a secretive manuscript whose existence tantalised mathematicians and scientists all over the world. In 1539 a young German mathematician, Georg Joachim Rheticus, travelled to Frombork to meet Copernicus; months later he departed with the manuscript for the book that would change the way we understand our place in the universe. Rheticus arranged for the publication of De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium (On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres) - legend has it Copernicus received a copy on his deathbed. This book would forever change the way we thought about our place in the universe. In her compelling style, Dava Sobel chronicles the history of the Copernican Revolution, relating the story of astronomy from Aristotle to the Middle Ages. And as she achieved with her international bestsellers Longitude and Galileo's Daughter, in A More Perfect Heaven, Sobel expands the bounds of popular science writing, giving us an unforgettable portrait of a major step forward in the human knowledge of our universe.

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Author information

Dava Sobel is the acclaimed author of the 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