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Extended Audio Sample Galileos Daughter: A Historical Memoir of Science, Faith and Love Audiobook, by Dava Sobel Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (10,794 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Dava Sobel Narrator: George Guidall Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2005 ISBN: 9780739322932
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Galileo Galilei was the foremost scientist of his day. Though he never left Italy, his inventions and discoveries were heralded around the world. His telescopes allowed him to reveal the heavens and enforce the astounding argument that the earth moves around the sun. For this belief, he was brought before the Holy Office of the Inquisition, accused of heresy, and forced to spend his last years under house arrest.

Galileo's oldest child was thirteen when he placed her in a convent near him in Florence, where she took the most appropriate name of Suor Maria Celeste. Her support was her father's greatest source of strength. Her presence, through letters which Sobel has translated from Italian and masterfully woven into the narrative, graces her father's life now as it did then.

GALILEO'S DAUGHTER dramatically recolors the personality and accomplishment of a mythic figure whose seventeenth-century clash with Catholic doctrine continues to define the schism between science and religion. Moving between Galileo's public life and Maria Celeste's sequestered world, Sobel illuminates the Florence of the Medicis and the papal court in Rome during an era when humanity's perception of its place in the cosmos was overturned. With all the human drama and scientific adventure that distinguished Latitude, GALILEO'S DAUGHTER is an unforgettable story.


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Quotes & Awards

  • “Sobel is a master storyteller…She brings a great scientist to life.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Innovative history and a wonderfully told tale.”

    Newsweek

  • Winner of the 1999 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Science and Technology
  • A 2000 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for Biography/Autobiography
  • A New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie | 1/31/2014

    " This was an informative account of Galileo's life...that the author pieced together from existing documents, historical literature, and surviving letters from Galileo's devoted and servient daughter. I admire / appreicate the effort, volume of reconstruction, and time this work of non fiction entailed. However, I think I would have been more interested in the work during my high school or college years, when I was more familiar with the events and historical figure of science. The accuracy and recanting of history from 17th century Italy was just a bit too dry for me right now. But glad I read the book. A good "refresher course". However since the letter's are not the primary source of information ....I did find the title and content at odds. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Claude Bertout | 1/28/2014

    " A marvelous glimpse of Galileo's life and lifetimes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet | 1/25/2014

    " A bit slow in parts - I didn't think the letters were really all that fascinating. I certainly learned a lot about Galileo and the Catholic church. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/19/2014

    " Not very surprisingly, the title is a gimmick.. the letters between Galileo and Mary Celeste did add a personal touch to the book, butmmmostlit is just the same biography of Galileo. I did learn some new things though, mainly about Galileo's other scientific endeavors (Other than the celestial.. those that are usually mentioned when learning about his work). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Liza | 1/13/2014

    " This was a very unique spin on a biographical account of Galileo's life. Letters from his closest family member- his illegitimate eldest daughter, Suor Maria Celeste, living as a cloistered nun, are translated into English for the first time and you can see the paternal love that exists between the two. In the midst of the loving letters are Galileo's achievements as one of the greatest astronomers of all time and his trial against heresy brought up against him by Pope Urban VIII where Galileo was sentenced to house arrest for the rest of his life. My favorite part was reading the letters from his daughter, which are fairly mundane but really show how life was like for nuns living in impoverished convents. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Claire | 1/6/2014

    " FINALLY finished this one- after stopping and starting several times. I am very interested in the subject of the book, but I thought the writing style was very dry and difficult to get through. I didn't perk up with it until near the end, around the time of the trial. Interesting story of his struggle between being deeply religious, and wanting the world to know about his discoveries (which were frowned upon by the church). I thought the title was misleading, as I don't think the character of his daughter came through that strong. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Luisa | 1/3/2014

    " Bleh. I was bored. It was VERY biographical and unfortunately I expected a novel. There was SOME interesting stuff though, like I didn't know Galileo's Dad was one of the creators of Italian Opera in the late 1500's. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 12/25/2013

    " fascinating historically accurate portrait of an amazing man and the daughter I never even knew he had. I cried when maria Celeste died and have so much more empathy for Galileo and his struggle to be true to truth and his faith. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teisha Farrer | 12/14/2013

    " Exceptional book on Galileo's life. Moves a bit slow but it's indepth. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie Rybczynski | 11/22/2013

    " This book tells the story of Galileo from his daughter's point of view. Sobel does her research and crafts an eminently readable story. Most interesting to me were the discussion of the papacy and life inside a sixteenth century abbey. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Arlene | 1/15/2013

    " I am a tried and true historical fiction girl so I FORCED myself to finish this book regardless of how much I hated reading it. (Sorry Dava) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Molly Diebel | 12/10/2012

    " Forced my way through about half of it before giving up. Slow and a bit boring. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 TJ | 10/19/2012

    " For some reason I thought this book was about Galilelo and his daughter, not just a biography of Galileo. Not worth the read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sadie | 6/28/2012

    " I don't usually read biography's but I thought this one sounded good. It gave interesting insight into Galileo's life as well as that of the period. Overall, it was interesting if not a real pageturner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Zazzu | 3/5/2012

    " Fascinating read I thought. I assigned this as the February read for the book group I run. I can hardly wait to see what they think. I liked the glimpse of Galileo's life, the tragedies, daily events, and humanity of his daily existence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 10/29/2011

    " If you like history you will like these books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Belinda | 12/28/2010

    " Interesting but too much like reading a history book.....I kept waiting for the daughter's letters and story. Made it to page 80 or so and gave it up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 11/7/2010

    " A very interesting look at Galileo's life through letters he wrote to his daughter while he was incarcerated. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Michelle Ebstein | 10/21/2010

    " The first 100 pages are tough, but it is well worth it! A wonderful book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue Ann | 5/23/2010

    " This book would be better to watch as PBS documentary. It took forever for me to get through, but once I was done I was glad I read it and I felt I could have read it again and enjoyed and understood it better. "

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About the Author
Author Dava Sobel

Dava Sobel is an accomplished writer of popular expositions of scientific topics. A 1964 graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, she attended Antioch College and the City College of New York before receiving her bachelor of arts degree from the State University of New York at Binghamton in 1969. She holds honorary doctor of letters degrees from the University of Bath, in England, and Middlebury College, Vermont, both awarded in 2002.

About the Narrator

George Guidall, winner of eighty-eight AudioFile Earphones Awards, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Excellence in Audiobook Narration. In 2014 the Audio Publishers Association presented him with the Special Achievement Award for an audiobook narrator of exceptional stature and accomplishment. During his thirty-year recording career he has recorded over 1,100 audiobooks, won multiple awards, been a mentor to many narrators, and shown by example the potential of fine storytelling. Among Guidall’s narration achievements are Crime and Punishment, The Iliad, and John Irving’s A Widow for One Year, which earned him an Audie Award for best unabridged narration of a novel, an honor he captured again for his rendition of Wally Lamb’s I Know This Much Is True. Guidall’s forty-year acting career includes starring roles on Broadway, an Obie Award for best performance off Broadway, and frequent television appearances.