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THE shape of the world

(George Philip 2009, co-author Andrew Robinson)


“A vivid account of great courage and endeavour on the grandest scale” - Where and When

First published as the companion book to a six-part PBS television documentary series, The Shape of the World shows how scientists and explorers throughout the centuries disproved prevailing myths regarding the Earth's shape and geography.

For thousands of years, the shape of the world and its islands, continents and oceans was a matter of speculation for geographers and mystics. Some thought the world was flat, or rested on the head of a serpent; others that it was a perfect sphere. Its true shape remained unseen by human eyes until Christmas 1968, when Apollo 8 left the earth's gravity to circumnavigate the moon.

From the first crude maps to Apollo, The Shape of the World tells a story of courage and endeavour on the grandest scale: of explorers such as Marco Polo, sailors like Columbus and Magellan and soldiers like Everest. It is a history of map-making and scientific invention drawn from many ages and countries... an epic of ingenuity, revealing how the discoveries of craftsmen and explorers were closely interlinked.

The Shape of the World also includes some 150 colour maps, photographs and illustrations, including a colour photograph taken from Apollo 8. 

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