Though our knowledge of the heavens has increased astronomically-pun intended-since 1895, when this primer on skywatching was first published, this work, with its Victorian charm and poetical bent that will remind readers of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne, remains a treat for fans of the night sky. Chambers has an equally pleasant approach to the hard science of his day-from a simple explanation of how the study of the stars is connected to with the terrestrial science of geography to his ponderings on the meanings of "temporary stars," which we today understand are supernovas-as he does on the history of how we've observed the celestial realm, from a brief history of the constellations to an exploration of the stars in verse, from Shakespeare to Tennyson. A lawyer by profession, British author GEORGE FREDERICK CHAMBERS (1841-1915) was one of the most prominent amateur astronomers of the late 19th century. His books include Handbook of Descriptive and Practical Astronomy (1889) and Story of Eclipses (1902).
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