This book chronicles the misadventures of those who attempted to perfect the compass, an instrument so precious to 16-century seamen that, by law, any man found tampering with it had his hand pinned to the mast with a dagger. From the time man first took to the seas until only 1,000 years ago, sight and winds were the sailor's only navigational aids. It was not until the development of the compass that maps and charts could be used with any accuracy. Even so, it would be hundreds of years and thousands of shipwrecks before the marvelous instrument was perfected. And its history up to modern times is filled with the stories of disasters that befell sailors who misused it.More
"An engaging sequence of stories for the maritime set." (Booklist)
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- Steve Bird