Compass: A Story of Exploration and Innovation (Paperback)

Compass: A Story of Exploration and Innovation By Alan Gurney Cover Image
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"The compass's rocky evolution is charted with an enthusiast's passion…A fascinating adventure." —Bernadette Murphy, Los Angeles Times

This is the rich history of the most important navigational device of all time, the magnetic compass, born of the need for a reliable means of negotiating treacherous sea routes around the globe. Compass chronicles the misadventures of those who attempted to perfect the instrument—so precious to sixteenth-century seamen that, by law, any man found tampering with one had his hand pinned to the mast with a dagger. Part history, part adventure, this book is a compelling tribute to human ingenuity—and the mysteries of the sea.

About the Author

Alan Gurney was a former yacht designer and photographer. His books include Compass, The Race to the White Continent, and Below the Convergence: Voyages Toward Antarctica: 1699–1839.

Praise For…

Mr. Gurney does not forget the adventure, reward, and yes, danger that compelled man to explore in the first place.
— Brendan Miniter - Wall Street Journal

A colorful line of scientists, engineers and sailors [are] described by Gurney with a novelist’s eye for detail.
— American Scientist

[An] engaging foray into vistas and voyages of the past.
— Publishers Weekly

Fast-paced and informative, Compass is a worthy investment.

— Raymond Leach - Virginian-Pilot

[Gurney] tells—and clearly loves—marvelous stories of sailing and the sea. He has dug into diaries, logs, and historic accounts of catastrophic storms and battles, of the mortal perils of rocks and reefs. His sagas relate to the necessities and developments of navigation, but many are told almost cinematically.
— Michael Pakenham - Baltimore Sun

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393327137
ISBN-10: 0393327132
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: August 17th, 2005
Pages: 322
Language: English