Thanksgiving - A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos - Dava Sobel

A More Perfect Heaven: How Copernicus Revolutionized the Cosmos - Dava Sobel (2011)


It would be impossible to overstate the generosity of the historians, directors, and people of good cheer who have helped me relive the Copernican Revolution.

Professors Owen Gingerich, André Goddu, Michael Shank, Noel Swerdlow, and the late Ernan McMullin lent their authority in history and astronomy, along with earnest encouragement. The first three also reviewed the draft chapters of this book to correct my mistakes.

Directors Gerald Freedman, Langdon Brown, and Isaac Klein read and commented on numerous drafts of the play, always with constructive advice.

In Poland, Janusz Gil, Tomasz Mazur, Krzysztof Ostrowski, and Jaroslaw Wlodarczyk variously welcomed, guided, mentored, interpreted, and read drafts for me. I am also grateful to Stanislaw Waltos for facilitating permission to view the Copernicus manuscript in Krakow.

At Uppsala, Tore Frängsmyr opened the doors to Copernicus’s personal library.

The John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation and the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation provided grant support, with kind attention from Edward Hirsch and André Bernard at Guggenheim, Doron Weber at Sloan, Annie MacRae as the Sloan Project manager at Manhattan Theatre Club, and Paige Evans.

The Naked Stage, the Manhattan Theatre Club, the New York State Writers Institute Authors Theatre, and the University and Teatr Lubuski of Zielona Gora (Poland) staged readings of the play in progress.

Astrologer Elaine Peterson cast and interpreted horoscopes for Copernicus and Rheticus.

Stalwart supporters including my agent, Michael Carlisle; my editor and publisher, George Gibson; my daughter, Zoe Klein; my brothers and sister-in-law, Stephen, Michael, and Pamela Sobel; my cousins Celia Michaels and Barry Gruber; my friends Diane Ackerman, Jane Allen, Will Andrewes, K. C. Cole, Doug Garner, Mary Giaquinto, Joanne Julian, M. G. Lord, Doug Offenhartz, Rita and Gary Reiswig, Lydia Salant, Margaret Thompson, and Alfonso Triggiani have all proved especially helpful, often just by being who they are.