The Tale of William Smith and the Birth of Science.
In 1815 an extraordinary hand-painted map was published - the first geological map in the world. Its maker was William Smith, the son of an Oxfordshire blacksmith. Containing all his discoveries about the structure of the earth, Smith's map laid the foundations not only for a new science but for the making of great fortunes. But his own life slid into ruin: he was imprisoned for debt, his work was plagiarised, his wife became insane and the scientific establishment ignored him. Except that then a fairytale twist of fate intervened . . .
Simon Winchester enters the dramatic world of 'Strata Smith' to tell his moving and inspiring story. Celebrating the unique geology of the British Isles, 'The Map That Changed The World' resurrects the forgotten pioneer whose passion for fossils came above all else.