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William Smith was not rich or well connected, but his passion for rocks and fossils, and his twenty-year obsession with single-handedly mapping the geology of Britain made him one of the most significant men of the nineteenth century. However his vision cost him dear – his wife went mad, his work was stolen by jealous colleagues who eventually ruined him, and he was imprisoned for debt.Simon Winchester tells the fascinating story of ‘Strata’ Smith, a man who crossed boundaries of class, wealth and science to produce a map that fundamentally changed the way we view the world.
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