The Island of the Mapmaker's Wife & Other Tales

The Island of the Mapmaker's Wife & Other Tales

Presents a variety of contemporary love stories that evoke a sense of place and that revolve around collectors' objects, which become the object of obsession as characters project their own dreams and desires onto them

The Mapmaker's Wife

A True Tale Of Love, Murder, And Survival In The Amazon

The Mapmaker's Wife

In the early years of the 18th century, a band of French scientists set off on a daring, decade-long expedition to South America in a race to measure the precise shape of the earth. Like Lewis and Clark's exploration of the American West, their incredible mission revealed the mysteries of a little-known continent to a world hungry for discovery. Scaling 16,000foot mountains in the Peruvian Andes, and braving jaguars, pumas, insects, and vampire bats in the jungle, the scientists barely completed their mission. One was murdered, another perished from fever, and a third-Jean Godin-nearly died of heartbreak. At the expedition's end, Jean and his Peruvian wife, Isabel Gramesón, became stranded at opposite ends of the Amazon, victims of a tangled web of international politics. Isabel's solo journey to reunite with Jean after their calamitous twenty-year separation was so dramatic that it left all of 18th-century Europe spellbound. Her survival-unprecedented in the annals of Amazon exploration-was a testament to human endurance, female resourcefulness, and the power of devotion.Drawing on the original writings of the French mapmakers, as well as his own experience retracing Isabel's journey, acclaimed writer Robert Whitaker weaves a riveting tale rich in adventure, intrigue, and scientific achievement. Never before told, The Mapmaker's Wife is an epic love story that unfolds against the backdrop of "the greatest expedition the world has ever known."

Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination

Shores of Knowledge: New World Discoveries and the Scientific Imagination

"Uncommonly good…makes a compelling case that…intellectual curiosity not only changed Europe, but launched modernity." —Cleveland Plain Dealer When Columbus first returned to Spain from the Caribbean, he dazzled King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with exotic parrots, tropical flowers, and bits of gold. Inspired by the promise of riches, countless seafarers poured out of the Iberian Peninsula and wider Europe in search of spices, treasure, and land. Many returned with strange tales of the New World. Curiosity began to percolate through Europe as the New World’s people, animals, and plants ruptured prior assumptions about the biblical description of creation. The Church, long fearful of challenges to its authority, could no longer suppress the mantra “Dare to know!” Noblemen began collecting cabinets of curiosities; soon others went from collecting to examining natural objects with fresh eyes. Observation led to experiments; competing conclusions triggered debates. The foundations for the natural sciences were laid as questions became more multifaceted and answers became more complex. Carl Linneaus developed a classification system and sent students around the globe looking for specimens. Museums, botanical gardens, and philosophical societies turned their attention to nature. National governments undertook explorations of the Pacific. Eminent historian Joyce Appleby vividly recounts the explorers’ triumphs and mishaps, including Magellan’s violent death in the Philippines; the miserable trek of the "new Argonauts" across the Andes on their mission to determine the true shape of the earth; and how two brilliant scientists, Alexander Humboldt and Charles Darwin, traveled to the Americas for evidence to confirm their hypotheses about the earth and its inhabitants. Drawing on detailed eyewitness accounts, Appleby also tells of the turmoil created in the all societies touched by the explorations. This sweeping, global story imbues the Age of Discovery with fresh meaning, elegantly charting its stimulation of the natural sciences, which ultimately propelled Western Europe toward modernity.

The Mapmaker's Wife

The Mapmaker's Wife

In 1844, two young women arrive in London in the same September week. Catherine, pregnant and seventeen, has crossed the Irish Sea in search of her circus strongman lover. Mary, a pure-hearted midwife, as fled a personal trauma in Somerset. By the time their parallel journeys collide, three lives will lay ruined. How will they be mended, and who will do it? With rich prose and a cast of vibrant characters, the story sweeps from rural hinterlands to teeming city streets, veers north to Scotland's solitary islands, and back to a burgeoning, confident London in the midst of the Industrial Revolution. Along the way, the reader encounters the Victorian love of travelling circuses, its fascination with spiritualism, and the horrors of the Irish potato famine. It concludes with a glimpse into a future of social reform and an emerging women's movement.

The Mapmaker's War

Keeper of Tales Trilogy: Book One

The Mapmaker's War

Given a rare apprenticeship and tasked with charting her entire kingdom, young Aoife encounters a secretive culture of wealthy and peaceful people who she protects by enduring a harrowing exile. By the author of The Mercy of Thin Air.

Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight

Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight

An engrossing read, Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight is a volume consisting of scholarship on the current state of the discipline of space history presented in a joint NASA and NASM conference in 2005. The essays presented in the book question such issues as the motivations of spaceflight, and the necessity, if any, of manned space exploration. Though a highly informative and scholarly volume, Critical Issues in the History of Spaceflight is thoroughly enjoyable for readers off all different backgrounds who share an interest in human spaceflight.

The Mapmaker's Eye

David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau

The Mapmaker's Eye

Between 1807 and 1812, North West Company fur trader, explorer, and cartographer David Thompson established two viable trade routes across the Rocky Mountains in Canada and systematically surveyed the entire 1,250-mile course of the Columbia River. In succeeding years he distilled his mathematical notations from dozens of journal notebooks into the first accurate maps of the entire northwest quadrant of North America. The writings in those same journals reveal a complex man who was headstrong, curious, and resourceful in ways that reflected both his London education and his fur trade apprenticeship on the Canadian Shield. In The Mapmaker's Eye: David Thompson on the Columbia Plateau, Jack Nisbet utilizes fresh research to convey how Thompson experienced the sweep of human and natural history etched across the Columbia drainage. He places Thompson's movements within the larger contexts of the European Enlightenment, the British fur trade economy, and American expansion as represented by the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Nisbet courses through journal notebooks to assemble and comment on Thompson's bird and mammal lists, the explorer's surprisingly detailed Salish vocabulary, the music Thompson and his crew listened to on a barrel organ, and the woodcraft techniques they used to maintain themselves under shelter or while on the move. Visual elements bring Thompson's written daybooks to life. Watercolor landscapes and tribal portraits drawn by the first artists to travel along his trade routes illuminate what the explorer actually saw. Tribal and fur trade artifacts reveal intimate details of two cultures at the moment of contact. The Mapmaker's Eye also depicts the surveying instruments that Thompson used, and displays the series of remarkable maps that grew out of his patient, persistent years of work. In addition to these visual aspects of Thomson's journeys through the Columbia country, Nisbet taps into oral memories kept by the Kootenai and Salish bands who guided the agent and his party along their way.

Shaky Colonialism

The 1746 Earthquake-Tsunami in Lima, Peru, and Its Long Aftermath

Shaky Colonialism

A social history of the earthquake-tsunami that struck Lima in October 1746, looking at how people in and beyond Lima understood and reacted to the natural disaster.

The Mapmaker

The Mapmaker

Two men unjustly accused of murder flee their medieval home, following a map they hope will lead them to knowledge and wealth