Limit search to available items
Author Herbert, A. P. (Alan Patrick), 1890-1971.

Title Sundials old and new : or, Fun with the sun / A.P. Herbert
Published London : Methuen, 1967


Location Call no. Vol. Availability
Description 198 pages, 12 plates : illustrations ; 22 cm
Contents Foreword by Lt-Commander D. W. Waters -- Introduction -- Part one: At home -- I Stuck in the sand -- II Dial dictionary -- III Particular dials -- Part two: Abroad -- Part three: The shadow -- Index
Summary The author's original title was "Fun with the Sun". A learned reader, who fave the book full marks for science, said that at many points it made him 'laugh out loud'. Commander Waters, in his Preface too, says that one of its purposes is 'to give people fun making and using sundials'. But the book is really for instruction and not for amusement. In fact, it is perhaps the most serious book about sundials for more than a hundred years, and there is no book quite like it. That is an easy claim, for Sir Alan Herbert has brought the sundial up to date. 'It is only out of date' he says 'because it has been neglected' It is one of the oldest tools of man, but he shows how it can be adapted to modern conditions and needs. He has dug out the old dials (some of them quite forgotten) and made them tell clock-time - and even in come cases, Summer Time, which he dislikes. But to do this you must know something about the behaviour of the heavens, a fascinating but baffling subject. A. P. H., an amateur himself, makes his lessons as lucid as he can, but they require hard thought - and careful labour. The bigh thing is that they can be tested in practice by anybody with some bits of wood and a simple tool or two. Here, he says, is a perfect hobby for the young boy with a carpentering set or the old boy with a pension. 'Nothing to do' should never be heard again. No mean hobby either. It was Isaac Newton's - and Christopher Wren's. When your home-made dial works you have brought God into the garden, and are a collaborator with the Sun. The young Space-fan will at last have practical acquaintance with the 'technology' of the Univerese : he will also see some point in learning logarithms and trigonometry. The old boy will have the pride and pleaseure of making something with his hands; perhaps for the first time: and, who knows, he may stumble on new discoveries, such as our author boasts of. More ambitious, but not quite so confident, he has invented navigational shadow-instruments, which he thinks should be of service, at least on land. By these he says, he can find his latitude and longitude before breakfast. This may not help you in the home, but it might in the Sahara, and possibly at sea. At all events, he shows the reader how to try. He can also make 'stationary shadows'. Can you? (inside cover)
Notes Includes index
Subject Sundials.
LC no. 67087146
Other Titles Fun with the sun
Fun with the sun