26 April 2017
HERSCHEL, Caroline (1750-1848). Catalogue of Stars, taken from Mr Flamsteed’s Observations. London: the Royal Society, 1798.
2° (426 x 252mm). With errata leaf and engraved chart. (Occasional very light spotting, Bb1 torn at bottom corner.) Contemporary half calf (spine chipped, rubbed at extremities, boards lightly spotted, corners slightly bumped). Provenance: Royal Society of Edinburgh (ink inscription and stamp on title).
FIRST EDITION of this important astronomical work by Caroline Herschel, split into three sections, each with introductory remarks by her brother William Herschel. ‘Between 1786 and 1797 [Caroline] discovered no fewer than eight comets, thus earning a reputation as an astronomer in her own right’ (DSB VI, p.323). This publication was intended to be an index of the five or six hundred stars observed by John Flamsteed (1646-1719) in his 1725 work ‘Historia Coelestis Britannica’ which had since ‘escaped the notice of those who framed the British Catalogue’. Her importance to the field of astronomy was recognised in 1828 when she was awarded the gold medal of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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