It's been almost a year now since I read this one and, as I have passed my copy on to a friend, I no longer have it to refer to. I thoroughly enjoyed it, Fosse, but much preferred "The Floating Egg - Episodes in the Making of Geology" by Roger Osborne, which I have read more recently. Winchester actually refers to it in his book.
One of the chapters had been devoted entirely to the meeting in York between Perkins, Palmer and Smith where he explained his theory of stratigraphy. Others depict events, in less detail, and also some of Smith's diary entries (written by his nephew, John Phillips) on his long and weary path towards gaining the fame he justly deserved.
The rest of the book is a fascinating history of Geology, taking the reader on a whirlwind trip back in time by interspersing relevant, important moments in history with separate chapters, highlighting the various notable fossil finds in and around the Whitby area.
Going back to the book of the month, "The Map That Changed the World" by Simon Winchester, I've found an excellent copy of the actual map online at
I hope that no-one is offended by the choice of site, but this is by far the clearest I could find.
I mentioned earlier in the main Book of the Month thread that Winchester's book had been published under a variety of subtitles. In Britain it's "The Tale of William Smith and the Birth of a Science", elseswhere listed as " the Birth of Modern Geology". I found an explanation for this in an interview with Dave Weich for www.powells.com
Dave: The Professor and the Madman - both tell the story of a forgotten scholar. But in terms of how you approached this book, I'd imagine that trying to captivate a reader would present a greater challenge because you're not talking about words, which seems like a likely topic of interest among readers; instead, the subject is geology.
Simon Winchester: I couldn't agree with you more. In fact, in England the subtitle of the book is "The Tale of William Smith and the Birth of a Science" because they were worried that the word geology would comprehensively turn readers off.
The alternative title wouldn't have put me off, how about the rest of you?
(Edited to fix link)