By Jonathan Betts
This can be the tale of Rupert T. Gould (1890-1948), the polymath and horologist. A awesome guy, Lt Cmdr Gould made vital contributions in a rare variety of topic parts all through his quite brief and dramatically existence. From old clocks to medical mysteries, from typewriters to the 1st systematic examine of the Loch Ness Monster, Gould studied and released on all of them. With the identify The Stargazer, Gould was once an early broadcaster on
the BBC's kid's Hour while, along with his encyclopaedic wisdom, he grew to become often called the guy Who Knew every thing. no longer unusually, he used to be additionally a part of that elite staff on BBC radio who shaped The Brains belief, giving on-the-spot solutions to all demeanour of large ranging and hard questions. With his
wide studying and photographic reminiscence, Gould awed a countrywide viewers, changing into one of many era's radio celebrities.
During the Nineteen Twenties Gould restored the complicated and hugely major marine timekeepers developed by way of John Harrison (1693-1776), and wrote the unsurpassed vintage, The Marine Chronometer, its background and improvement. this present day he's nearly unknown, his horological contributions scarcely pointed out in Dava Sobel's bestseller Longitude. the television model of Longitude, during which Jeremy Irons performed Rupert Gould, did at the least introduce Gould's identify to a much broader public.
Gould suffered negative bouts of melancholy, leading to a few worried breakdowns. those, coupled along with his obsessive and pedantic nature, ended in a scandalously-reported separation from his spouse and value him his kinfolk, his domestic, his task, and his closest friends.
In this first-ever biography of Rupert Gould, Jonathan Betts, the Royal Observatory Greenwich's Senior Horologist, has given us a compelling account of a skilled yet unsuitable person. utilizing hitherto unknown own journals, the family's broad selection of images, and the polymath's surviving documents and notes, Betts tells the tale of ways Gould's youth, his naval occupation, and his big name prestige got here jointly as this proficient Englishman restored a part of Britain's - and the
world's - most vital technical historical past: John Harrison's marine timekeepers.