By Jonathan Betts
This can be the tale of Rupert T. Gould (1890-1948), the polymath and horologist. A striking guy, Lt Cmdr Gould made very important contributions in a rare variety of topic parts all through his really brief and dramatically stricken existence. From vintage clocks to medical mysteries, from typewriters to the 1st systematic learn of the Loch Ness Monster, Gould studied and released on all of them. With the name The Stargazer, Gould was once an early broadcaster on
the BBC's kid's Hour while, together with his encyclopaedic wisdom, he grew to become often called the fellow Who Knew every thing. no longer unusually, he used to be additionally a part of that elite workforce on BBC radio who shaped The Brains belief, giving on-the-spot solutions to all demeanour of broad ranging and hard questions. With his
wide studying and photographic reminiscence, Gould awed a countrywide viewers, turning into one of many era's radio celebrities.
During the Nineteen Twenties Gould restored the complicated and hugely major marine timekeepers developed via John Harrison (1693-1776), and wrote the unsurpassed vintage, The Marine Chronometer, its background and improvement. at the present time he's almost unknown, his horological contributions scarcely pointed out in Dava Sobel's bestseller Longitude. the television model of Longitude, within which Jeremy Irons performed Rupert Gould, did at the very least introduce Gould's identify to a much broader public.
Gould suffered negative bouts of melancholy, leading to a couple of frightened breakdowns. those, coupled along with his obsessive and pedantic nature, ended in a scandalously-reported separation from his spouse and value him his family members, his domestic, his activity, and his closest friends.
In this first-ever biography of Rupert Gould, Jonathan Betts, the Royal Observatory Greenwich's Senior Horologist, has given us a compelling account of a skilled yet improper person. utilizing hitherto unknown own journals, the family's broad choice of images, and the polymath's surviving files and notes, Betts tells the tale of the way Gould's adolescence, his naval profession, and his star prestige got here jointly as this proficient Englishman restored a part of Britain's - and the
world's - most crucial technical background: John Harrison's marine timekeepers.
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