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Galileo's Daughter : A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith, and Love
Galileo's Daughter A Historical Memoir of Science Faith and Love Author:Dava Sobel Galileo Galilei's telescopes allowed him to discover a new reality in the heavens. But for publicly declaring his astounding argument--that the earth revolves around the sun--he was accused of heresy and put under house arrest by the Holy Office of the Inquisition. Living a far different life, Galileo's daughter Virginia, a cloistered nun, prove... more »d to be her father's greatest source of strength through the difficult years of his trial and persecution.
Drawing upon the remarkable surviving letters that Virginia wrote to her father, Dava Sobel has written a fascinating history of Medici--era Italy, a mesmerizing account of Galileo's scientific discoveries and his trial by Church authorities, and a touching portrayal of a father--daughter relationship. Galileo's Daughter is a profoundly moving portrait of the man who forever changed the way we see the universe.
Winner of the Christopher Award and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award
Named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Esquire, and the American Library Association« less
I ordered _Galileo's Daughter_ on a whim. Wow. It was really, really good. The story is the story of the life of Galileo, and especially of his relationship with his older daughter, who is a nun with the convent name of Maria Celeste. The time period featured here is not one that I've ever been especially interested in. Nor did I know anything about Galileo, (beyond that Indigo Girls song and a conspiracy theory that someone told me when I was a teenager, that the Church actually knew already that the earth went around the sun, they just weren't ready for the public to know) or think that it was a lack in my life not to, but this book was riveting. Sobel did a great job of keeping you interested with the narrative and the letters from Maria Celeste to her father, without neglecting contextual information about the politics and church doctrine of the time. This book transformed my understanding of this period of Italian history. The idea of being arrested, tortured, or even executed for disagreeing with church doctrine is chilling. If you are interested in science, history, or the relationship between church and state, then order _Galileo's Daughter_ right away. Dava Sobel also wrote a similar book which I plan to investigate: _Longitude:The True Story of a Lone Genius Who Solved the Greatest Scientific Problem of His Time_. Five stars.
This book is a great combination of biography and memoir, and is told using a unique construction. The author has researched well the later life of Gallileo, and presents his story of experimentation, mathematics and presentation of Copernicus' earth-centric theory of the solar system and surrounding uproar in great detail, but interlaces those factual episodes with one half of a set of correspondence. She uses the surviving letters of his daughter to him during the latter half of his life to add to the dry facts the daily routine of his life and his concerns on more mundane things. Truly a unique combination of factual history and daily life.
I read this book after viewing a PBS special about Galileo, his troubles with the church, and his daughter. I knew his daughter was a nun and to support your father when your own "boss" is against him was mighty brave. I enjoyed this book. Very in-depth or what others might call tedious. Good read.