I’m using Dava Sobel’s Longitude this week in my timekeeping class. The villain of the piece, as it were, is the Reverend Dr. Nevil Maskelyne, who promoted an astronomical method for finding longitude, and played a major role in delaying the payment to John Harrison for his marine chronometers. It’s a good story, with lots of science and engineering and politicking.
There’s one critical flaw, though, in terms of me teaching this book, which is that I don’t really know how to say Maskelyne’s name. And even Wikipedia is letting me down, here, by not providing a phonetic rendering of his name. Which means I’m depending on you, my wise and worldly readers, to help me figure this out:
Nobody had even begun to think about quantum physics during Maskelyne’s lifetime, so you’re only allowed to pick one answer, not a quantum superposition of multiple answers.