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Whipple Library

Department of History and Philosophy of Science

In the field of astronomy, Agnes Mary Clerke (1842-1907) became a highly regarded author and commentator on contemporary theories and research. At a crucial time in the history of astronomy, coinciding with the foundation of many European and American observatories, Clerke’s work appealed to amateur and professional astronomers. She encouraged the collection of astronomical data, summarised the meaning of recent discoveries, made important connections between findings and pointed to areas of research with suggestions of future work to be done.

Her Popular history of astronomy was first published in 1885 and she continued to keep track of developments and update her work. The Whipple's copy of the 4th edition of 1902 was owned by Clerke herself. It is interleaved with pages for notes, contains many annotations, and includes evidence of proof reading for the final publication. Clerke, along with friend and fellow astronomer Lady Margaret Huggins, was eventually made an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society (women were not admitted as fellows at the time).


Clerke fourth ed with note2    

A popular history of astronomy during the nineteenth century, by Agnes M. Clerke
London : A. and C. Black, 1902
STORE 96:7

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