mirrorshard: (Terrella)
Kit Marlowe cited some Algonquin myths in support of the claim that the Earth was older than 6,000 years. He'd've met Manteo and Wanchese, since they were in London 1584/5 and again later that decade.

William Gilberd might well have too, and he was passionate about redeeming the Earth from the nothing-but-mud view. Must check timing.
mirrorshard: (Terrella)
I've been doing a bit more reading, and found another character I can definitely use - a Dr Mark Ridley, Gilberd's younger protege, who fiercely defended the good philosopher's magnetic philosophy after his death. (Partly against one of Gilberd's earlier collaborators, in fact.) He was part of James VI&I's son Henry's satellite court, which was packed full of philosophers, scholars, mathematicians, and even a few practical men. It would be really interesting to read an alt-history on the theme of "what if Prince Henry hadn't died at 18, and we'd never had Charles I?"
I have a bit of a dilemma... )
mirrorshard: (The Book of Rainbows)
By special request from [livejournal.com profile] midnightmelody.

William Gilberd, a prosperous London physician, president of the College of Surgeons, and physician to Queen Elizabeth I at the end of her life (and, as it turned out, his) is often called the first real scientist. The traditional historical epithet for him is 'the Father of Magnetism', after his most famous, and most complex, project, investigating the Earth's magnetic field through a series of terrella magnets (lit., 'little earth' - a spherical magnet).
long )
mirrorshard: (The Book of Rainbows)
I decided yesterday that I wanted to resume my research into William Gilberd. I think I've written a bit about him here before, but can't be bothered to look back and see. If any of you are interested, I'll expand and enthuse and ramble on the subject, but essentially, he was one of the first people to do Science in England, working on magnetism as applied to the (then very new and controversial) Copernican system, and to navigation at sea.

So now I have a reader's pass for the British Library, which makes me extremely happy.


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