Arthur Nightingale

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An unfortunate whose role, in uncounted millions of variations of Roundworld, was to ultimately hinder the ability of the human race to get off-planet before the snowballs started to hit.

Whether the unwitting patsy of Elves, The Science of Discworld II: the Globe, or of Auditors (The Science of Discworld III: Darwin's Watch), Nightingale's role in the scheme of things was to be just good enough in the absence of a better man (Shakespeare or Darwin) for the human race to signally fail to be inspired by a genuinely creative scientific or artistic talent, thus indirectly reaching the pinnacle of its ability in the form of space lifts and interstellar convoys.

Given Nightingale's prosaic plays, in lieu of Shakespeare, or Nightingale's representation of a familar idea, almost but not quite Darwin's, the human race shrugs and stays stupefied in the face of coming calamity.

It is possible Nightingale's grasp of science and of language makes him a spiritual brother of Creosote the epic poet...

Annotation

joseph Nightingale was a late eighteenth-century English minister of religion - by all accounts a bit of a vaguely good-intentioned Lamister - who wrote prolifically, publishing fifty books on various themes and topics. After his death, the most anyone could say was a kindly-intended " "His works extend to about fifty volumes; those on topography have much merit."