Book 157: The Mapmaker’s Wife by Robert Whitaker

The Mapmaker’s Wife by Robert Whitaker

Finished reading on December 22nd,2014

Rating: 9/10

This is a book about a scientific expedition to South America in the eighteenth century that ended with one of the scientist being killed at a bullfight and one getting married to a Peruvian girl who later in life travels across the Andes and down the Amazon to reach her husband, whom she hadn’t seen for more than twenty years.

This book is packed with adventures and even a bit of intrigue and politics, as you can read about the difficulties that a French team of scientists had to face – not just because of the rough terrain and high mountains, but also because of bureaucracy and human relations.

I found it a very interesting book to read – you find out more about the method that was used to find out the exact shape of the Earth that was still a subject of discussion in the beginning of eighteenth century, but also about the nature, native people and the colonial rule.

In addition to the scientific expedition you can read about a woman’s struggle to finally meet up with her husband, having to cross a whole continent to do so and face a number of dangers and losses on her way.

I would really recommend reading it if you enjoy survival tales or expedition diaries and also if you’re interested in geodesy or Southern America in the eighteenth century.

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