When Agnes Mary Clerke (1842–1907) published The System of the Stars in 1890, she was already a well-established popular science writer. The volume was intended to bring the educated public up to date with the progress made during the nineteenth century in the field of sidereal, or distant star, astronomy. This book was one of the first publications to be illustrated with astrophotography, having a significant impact on the reception and popular acceptance of astrophotography as scientific data. Clerke used the photographs to argue that the natural beauty and symmetry of the universe proved the existence of a creator. As she states on p. 381, the universe "bears glorious wintess to the power and wisdom of the Almighty Designer." The volume is therefore an important piece of popular Victorian scientific literature and remains significant today in the context of nineteenth-century debates about the relationship between science and religion. Index and 24 p. publisher's catalogue at rear.
Publisher: Longmans, Green and Co.
Edition: First Edition
Date Published: 1890
Place Published: London
Dust Jacket: No
Jacket Condition: n/a
Details: xix, 424, 24 p. 23 cm. Fold out chart frontispiece, 5 other plates, 50 woodcuts in text. Green cloth hardcover wrapped in mylar (removed for photo). Chipped spine ends, some wear to lower edges, worn corners. Bookseller's small label on front pastedown. Top corner of p. 13 chipped, cracked at pp. 304-305, tear in p. 371, plate 3 and tissue guard detached.