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Galileo's Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love.

Dava Sobel. 1999. Read by George Guidall. Books on Tape, Random House. #5151-CD. 9 cds. 11 hrs. 0-7366-9453-6. $72.00. Vinyl; content note. SA

Despite its misleading title, award-winning author Sobel's biography is not about Galileo's cloistered illegitimate daughter, Suor Maria Celeste. n6e Virginia. Rather. information gleaned from the 124 extant letters that she wrote to her famous astronomer father, recently translated into English by Sobel, are used to write a new, enhanced biography of Galileo. (Galileo's letters to her have not been found and were probably destroyed). Sobel's picture of 17th-century Italy, replete with detail and explanations, is a well-told, interesting vehicle for learning about that era. Of special interest are her discussions of the Catholic Church and the impact of the Inquisition at the intersection of religion, science and philosophy; the glimpses of daily life. including the effects of the bubonic plague and the Thirty Years' War; and the peek through the screen in the convent walls, especially when considering how many young women were thrust into this life of extreme poverty and seclusion by families with no other recourse. As always, Guidall's work is excellent, although his reading of the male voices is stronger than of the female ones. Jacqueline Edwards, Bedford, MA
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Author:Edwards, Jacqueline
Article Type:Audiobook Review
Date:Nov 1, 2003
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