|Plot Summary of Galileo's Daughter|
|"This is the story of Galileo's life with actual historical record commentary from Vatican documents and the letters written by Galileo's daughter in a convent, the nun Sister Maria Celeste. We follow the development of Galileo's ideas and writings and how they were thwarted. We see Galileo support his children, especially this daughter, who supports him in return and comments on everything from the planets' revolution around the sun to what his housesitter should do with his wine while he's away at trial in Rome. "
Linda Napikoski, Resident Scholar
|"Reading much like a novel, “Galileo's Daugher” is a riveting biography of the famed 17th century Italian scientist (branded heretic by the Church!). Using some 100 letters as the basis of this accounting, Dava Sobel (who also authored the historical “Longitude”) has created a work that is more than just a dissertation on Galileo; she “novelizes” it to the point that lay readers will find it an intense, rapt study of personalities, anxieties, love, and 17th century problems. It is NOT dull reading. These letters were written by Galileo's elder daughter Suor Marie Celeste (whom he had placed in a convent to become a nun) and with Sobel's blending of what she thinks may have happened (read Barbara Tuchman for more of this type of writing!), we have a fascinating story line.
Bill Hobbs, Resident Scholar
|" Sobel's book is concerned with the whole of Galileo's life, but especially with the relationship between the scientist and his daughter, Virginia. Her letters to him are at the center of the work. Sobel translates these letters herself and includes the complete text of many of them.
Named Virginia at birth, she was one of three children born out of wedlock to Galileo and Marina Gamba. She adopted the name Maria Celeste after she took her vows with the Order of St. Clare. Galileo had placed her and her younger sister in the Convent of San Matteo as young children, most probably because their illegitimate birth and his own modest means would have made marriage unlikely for them. In the end both girls took their vows. Her letters contain both everyday minutiae, sewing projects and candy making, as well advice on dealing with his trials and problems.
The book deals with the scientist's theories of the solar system, his disoveries about telescopes and his problems with the church over his writings.
Jack Goodstein, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Galileo's Daughter|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Subject of Biography
Biography of famous person?
How sensitive is this person?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 4 ()
- 17th century
- mostly 3rd
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
Writer's slant towards subject:
Story of entire life, or part?
- story of nearly entire life
- More 6-10 B&W
How much dialogue in bio?
- significantly more descript than dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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