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jerryking : simon_winchester   3

An Eclectic Writer Takes On Eccentric One - WSJ.com
May 6, 2008 | WSJ | By NAOMI SCHAEFER RILEY

With Simon Winchester
An Eclectic Writer Takes On an Eccentric One

Simon Winchester who has written "The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom." about Joseph Needham (1900-95), a precocious British biochemist and regular churchgoer with socialist leanings, a fondness for nude sunbathing and a love of folk-dancing. Needham received his doctorate from Cambridge in 1925 and taught there for the rest of his life. He had an affair with a Chinese scientist, Lu Gwei-djen, who had come to England to work in his lab. Through his lifelong relationship with her, which his wife apparently didn't mind, Needham developed a fascination with all things Chinese.
NaomiSchaeferRiley  China  books  writers  innovation  Simon_Winchester  precociousness 
february 2013 by jerryking
Book review: Atlantic - WSJ.com
NOVEMBER 1, 2010 By JOHN STEELE GORDON who reviews Atlantic By
Simon Winchester (Harper, 495 pages, $27.99). The Atlantic, Winchester
notes, has had a relatively brief life as an important geographic
feature of the globe. For most of European history, the Atlantic was
simply "the great outer sea," as opposed to the inner sea, the
Mediterranean, and thought to encircle the world. It was, therefore,
practically as alien and unknown as the back side of the moon and of
little more worldly importance...Two events at the end of the Middle
Ages changed that decisively. In the 15th century, western Europeans
developed the full-rigged ship, which was more capable than earlier
vessels of dealing with the far greater distances and tougher conditions
of the Atlantic. And in 1453, the Turks finally took Constantinople,
closing off the old trade routes to the East, the source of spices, silk
and other luxury goods.
book_reviews  maritime  unknowns  Simon_Winchester  the_Atlantic 
november 2010 by jerryking

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