Carol's Reviews > Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love

Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
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's review
Mar 21, 10

bookshelves: biography, science
Read in March, 2010

A biography of Galileo as revealed in letters from his beloved daughter, a cloistered nun. Suor Maria Celeste was highly intellegent (Galileo entrusted her to make the final copy of his manuscript), an efficient manager (she managed the affairs of her father's household from within the confines of the convent while he was being tried by the inquisition), and selfless (she was apocathary for the convent, nursing not only the other nuns but also her father and members of his household.) As well as Maria Celeste being a fascinating person in her own right, the book presents the character of Galileo and his huge scientic contributions in a way that is readable to the lay person. Galileo had support of several people, including some archbishops and cardinals even after his trial. Thanks to them, his writings on inclined planes and pendulums and other topics were smuggled out of Italy and published in Holland. This work at the end of his life laid the groundwork for Newton's theory of gravity, which in turn explained the mechanism for the earth revolving around the sun.

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