By Jonathan Betts
This is often the tale of Rupert T. Gould (1890-1948), the polymath and horologist. A amazing guy, Lt Cmdr Gould made vital contributions in a rare diversity of topic components all through his particularly brief and dramatically bothered existence. From old clocks to medical mysteries, from typewriters to the 1st systematic learn of the Loch Ness Monster, Gould studied and released on all of them. With the name The Stargazer, Gould used to be an early broadcaster on
the BBC's kid's Hour whilst, along with his encyclopaedic wisdom, he grew to become referred to as the guy Who Knew every thing. now not strangely, he was once additionally a part of that elite team on BBC radio who shaped The Brains belief, giving on-the-spot solutions to all demeanour of vast ranging and tough 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 built by means of John Harrison (1693-1776), and wrote the unsurpassed vintage, The Marine Chronometer, its historical past and improvement. at the present time 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 not less than introduce Gould's identify to a much broader public.
Gould suffered negative bouts of melancholy, leading to a couple of apprehensive breakdowns. those, coupled together with his obsessive and pedantic nature, resulted in a scandalously-reported separation from his spouse and value him his relations, his domestic, his activity, 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 wide selection of pictures, and the polymath's surviving files and notes, Betts tells the tale of ways Gould's adolescence, his naval profession, and his star prestige got here jointly as this gifted Englishman restored a part of Britain's - and the
world's - most crucial technical history: John Harrison's marine timekeepers.