Maskelyne v Harrison – the longitude show in London

Harrison's third clock
Harrison’s third clock

 

We finally managed to take in the excellent Ships, Clocks and Stars exhibition at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, which runs only until 4 January. Among other things, it puts the record somewhat straighter on the eminent 18th century Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne, chief villain of Dava Sobel’s best selling nautical history of the race to measure longitude at sea. Maskelyne was the man who conspired against John Harrison, the genius who built the first true chronometer, or so the narrative goes in Sobel’s book, Longitude.

Not so, it is clear from the detailed story set out in the exhibition, Continue reading “Maskelyne v Harrison – the longitude show in London”