HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love,…
Loading...

The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the… (edition 2004)

by Robert Whitaker

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4221225,093 (3.72)18
Member:podocyte
Title:The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon
Authors:Robert Whitaker
Info:Delta (2004), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 353 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:Books read in 2012, South America, Adventure, Non-fiction, Science, Amazon

Work details

The Mapmaker's Wife: A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon by Robert Whitaker

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 18 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
It's a delightful book, even though the title misrepresents what it really is about. The mapmaker's wife, Isabel Godin, occupies less than half of its pages and, even though her story is a very interesting one, it's part of an even more colourful story of the French Academy of Sciences expedition into the Andes to divine the shape and circumference of the Earth.
Without giving too much away, let me just say that Isabel Godin wasn't a mapmaker's wife, either. She was the wife of one of the assistants to the expedition, one of the younger ones on staff. He was named a ‘geographer’ and given a pension by the king in the end, though.
Those inaccuracies aside, it’s a great book full of interesting historical characters and events, info on the colonial life in South America, science at the age of Enlightenment, and American flora and fauna. Among other things, the book made me ponder the resilience and patience of the people back then. Their life seemed so much more difficult on the plain survival level. Tragedy and hardship were ubiquitous. The pace of the 18th century colonial world seems almost unimaginable to me. Take communication for example. You could have no news from your family for months and sometimes even tens of years if your letters went astray or if the ship they were on fell into pirates’ hands or was lost at sea. The whole expedition took eight years to finish their work… Poor Isabel spent twenty years (19 to be exact) to hear back from her loving husband, who after having traversed the continent was waiting for appropriate papers to take her to France. And then there is her months long harrowing trip down the Andes and down the Amazon, the trip the author of the book duplicated and was amazed at the woman's resilience. ( )
  Niecierpek | Feb 14, 2015 |
More than love, murder, or survival put together, this was a book about science and exploration. I mean, ok and all, sure. It was done in the same tradition as Dava Sobel's books, and there were a lot of parallels (no pun intended, ha!) between this book and Longitude. But, seriously, don't tell me it's about love when love takes up about ten pages. Don't tell me it's about murder when it takes about two seconds to describe the murder. It could just have been about survival in the Amazon & I still would have been interested. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
More than love, murder, or survival put together, this was a book about science and exploration. I mean, ok and all, sure. It was done in the same tradition as Dava Sobel's books, and there were a lot of parallels (no pun intended, ha!) between this book and Longitude. But, seriously, don't tell me it's about love when love takes up about ten pages. Don't tell me it's about murder when it takes about two seconds to describe the murder. It could just have been about survival in the Amazon & I still would have been interested. ( )
  cat-ballou | Jan 22, 2014 |
The writing is well done, but I just couldn't get into the story, which is odd since i usually enjoy this type of book. Oh well. Not going to rate it as that would be unfair to the author. ( )
  Readermom68 | Apr 3, 2013 |
This has already been fairly well reviewed by others, save two observations. Firstly the science is done very well indeed, but this is no primer in geodesy and astronomy. That's to say if you aren't already at ease with arc seconds you'll likely find yourself a little at sea. Secondly it has to be noted that he story of Isabel Grameson's survival in the Amazon is as well documented here as the source documents allow. Which means that the author spends as many words on it as can be profitably spent, and no more. The bulk of the book is actually devoted to the story of the science and of the history of Latin America.

The publisher seems to have chosen to lay emphasis on the romance, murder and miraculous survival in the wilderness aspects of the story. No doubt this is good for sales, but some folk might reasonably feel they were not sufficiently warned that this is a very serious book indeed. But for those who enjoy this sort of thing this book it is a real gem. To my mind this is streets ahead of Dava Sobel's 'Longitude', much more readable than Alder's 'The Measure of All Things' and at least the equal of Winchester's 'The Map That Changed the World'. Highly recommended. ( )
  nandadevi | Jul 17, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 12 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Information from the German Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0385337205, Paperback)

A True Tale of Love, Murder, and Survival in the Amazon

The year is 1735. A decade-long expedition to South America is launched by a team of French scientists racing to measure the circumference of the earth and to reveal the mysteries of a little-known continent to a world hungry for discovery and knowledge. From this extraordinary journey arose an unlikely love between one scientist and a beautiful Peruvian noblewoman. Victims of a tangled web of international politics, Jean Godin and Isabel Gramesón’s destiny would ultimately unfold in the Amazon’s unforgiving jungles, and it would be Isabel’s quest to reunite with Jean after a calamitous twenty-year separation that would capture the imagination of all of eighteenth-century Europe. A remarkable testament to human endurance, female resourcefulness, and enduring love, Isabel Gramesón’s survival remains unprecedented in the annals of Amazon exploration.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:17 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Relates the eighteenth-century story of Jean Godin and his wife, Isabel, stranded at opposite ends of the Amazon River after Jean's epic exploration of South America, and describes Isabel's journey to reunite with her husband.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 3 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
2 avail.
15 wanted
2 pay

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.72)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 2
2.5
3 18
3.5 5
4 28
4.5 1
5 9

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

Help/FAQs | About | Privacy/Terms | Blog | Store | Contact | LibraryThing.com | APIs | WikiThing | Common Knowledge | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | 99,153,334 books! | Top bar: Always visible