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Astronomy - Astronomy, Observations and Techniques | Le Verrier—Magnificent and Detestable Astronomer (Reviews)

Le Verrier—Magnificent and Detestable Astronomer

Lequeux, James

Originally published in French

2013, XVI, 337 p. 182 illus., 25 illus. in color.

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From the book reviews:

“The principals are illustrated together with many instruments, documents and buildings, as a standalone collection it would be very useful to any student of 19th century science. … the book comes directly from French archives, making this the definitive English language biography of Le Verrier. It makes an indispensable addition to our knowledge of astronomy of that turbulent era. … It must find a place in any Library dedicated to the history of science.” (Brian Sheen, F.A.S. Newsletter, Issue 105, Spring, 2014)

“This English version casts a fresh light on Le Verrier – the astronomer who discovered the planet Neptune ‘at the end of his pen’ in September 1846. … This book is very readable and presents a fascinating story of conflict and discovery. Bernard and Bill Sheehan deserve thanks for bringing it to an anglophone readership.” (David Sellers, Journal for the history of Astronomy, Vol. 45, February, 2014)

“Lequeux’s detailed account of the professional life of one of France’s best-known 19th-Century astronomers is a work of extensive scholarship, and fills admirably a curious void in the literature on world astronomers of renown. … The book is extremely well written … . The book is as thorough a study as can be conceived, and should be in every library as a testament to Paris’s struggles with both pollution and people during its formative years on the world astronomical stage.” (Elizabeth Griffin, The Observatory, Vol. 133 (1237), December, 2013)

“French astronomer/historian Lequeux delves deeply into the life and work of Urbain Le Verrier (1811-77), from his early studies and mathematical interests through the discovery that made him famous, the prediction of the position of an unknown planet (later named Neptune). … Footnotes provide references and scientific explanations. … The translation and editing are excellent. Summing Up: Highly recommended. History of astronomy collections, upper-division undergraduates and above.” (M.-K. Hemenway, Choice, Vol. 51 (3), November, 2013)



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