Flamsteed's Stars: New Perspectives on the Life and Work of the First Astronomer Royal, 1646-1719

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Overview

John Flamsteed played a leading role in English astronomy for nearly half a century, from his appointment as 'astronomical observator' to Charles II and first director of the new Royal Observatory at Greenwich, in 1675, through five successive reigns until his death on the last day of 1719. The Observatory's innovative instruments enabled him to plot the movements of the heavenly bodies with unprecedented accuracy, but he was also in correspondence with other astronomers, participating in the controversies of the day and caught up in a lengthy rivalry with Isaac Newton and Edmond Halley — reflected in the complex publishing history of the Historia Coelestis, detailed here. This book confirms Flamsteed's achievements as astronomer, mathematician, instrument maker and writer on optics, and also discusses more personal issues such as his relations with the Royal Society, his pursuit of professional recognition, and the friction between him and his eventual successor Halley.FRANCES WILLMOTH gained her Ph.D. for her biography of Flamsteed's patron, Sir Jonas Moore. Contributors: JIM BENNETT, FRANCES WILLMOTH, MORDECHAI FEINGOLD,ADRIAN JOHNS, HESTER HIGTON, ROB ILIFFE, IAN G. STEWART, OWEN GINGERICH, ALAN COOK, WILLIAM J. ASHWORTH, ADAM PERKINS
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780851157061
  • Publisher: Boydell & Brewer, Limited
  • Publication date: 12/18/1997
  • Pages: 287
  • Product dimensions: 6.39 (w) x 9.55 (h) x 0.97 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Foreword
Acknowledgments
Contributors
Abbreviated References
Introduction: the King's 'Astronomical Observator' 1
Flamsteed's Career in Astronomy: Nobility, Morality and Public Utility 17
Astronomy and Strife: John Flamsteed and the Royal Society 31
Models for the Practice of Astronomy: Flamsteed, Horrocks and Tycho 49
Flamsteed's Optics and the Identity of the Astronomical Observer 77
Equipping an Observatory: Flamsteed and Molyneux Discuss an Astronomical Quadrant 107
Mathematical Characters: Flamsteed and Christ's Hospital Royal Mathematical School 115
'Professor' John Flamsteed 145
Edmond Halley and John Flamsteed at the Royal Observatory 167
A Unique Copy of Flamsteed's Historia Coelestis (1712) 189
'Labour harder than thrashing': John Flamsteed, Property and Intellectual Labour in Nineteenth-Century England 199
The Flamsteed Papers in the Archives of the Royal Greenwich Observatory 217
A Summary Catalogue of Flamsteed's Papers in the Royal Greenwich Observatory Archives 225
Index 255
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