Today is the bicentenary of the death of the fifth Astronomer Royal, Nevil Maskelyne. He is best known as the villain of Dava Sobel’s Longitude. This depiction is unfair, as is this book’s suggestion that astronomical and chronometric solutions to the problem of finding longitude at sea were rival rather than complementary approaches.
The Longitude Project Blog is presenting four posts by Alexi Baker that exaine the reasons why the popular view of his dealings with John Harrison is inadequate. The first post, Assessing the accusations, is already up and the rest will follow over the next three days.