Paris: Gauthier-Villars, 1901. 4to. xi, , 628 pp., including half-title and index. With hundreds of astronomers referenced. Original printed wrappers, rebacked; very lightly browned, but generally an excellent copy, uncut and mostly unopened. Item #2571
First edition of one of the most important astronomical histories of the seventeenth century. In 1786 Pingre's Projet d'une histoire d'astronomie du dix-septieme siecle was completed. Lalande influenced the National Assembly to grant three thousand francs to defray the expenses of publication, but it proceeded slowly and at Pingre's death was discontinued and lost. The complete work is here, now first printed and edited by Bigourdan. It contains the greatest number of made observations from the beginning of 1601 to the end of 1700, including Pingre's "daily" observations of planets, eclipses, comets, stars, and much more. The work is an encyclopedia of the greatest astronomers and mathematicians of the time. The daily entries include those observations and opinions of every great astronomer of the seventeenth century; among just a few are Bayer, Kepler, Galileo, Tycho Brahe, Argoli, Riccoli, Blaeu, Briggs, Cassini, Flamsteed, Fontana, Hevelius, Gassendi, Newton.
Pingré (1711-1796), a prominent French astronomer, is responsible for the most accurate early observations of the transits of Venus, in 1761 and 1769. In 1753, his observations on the transits of Mercury earned him the title of correspondent for the Académie des Sciences. Aside from publishing many notable astronomical texts, he also wrote and published a nautical journal, and took many scientific voyages commissioned by both French and English institutions.