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The Story of the Herschels   By:

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"Stars Numberless, as thou seest, and how they move; Each has his place appointed, each his course."




From the best available sources have been gathered the following biographical particulars of a remarkable family of astronomers the Herschels.

They will serve to show the young reader how great a pleasure may be found in the acquisition of knowledge, and how solid a happiness in quietly pursuing the path of duty.

On the value of biography it is unnecessary to insist. It is now well understood that we may learn to make our own lives good and honest and true, by carefully and diligently following the example of the good and honest and true who have gone before us. And certain it is that the lessons taught by the lives of the Herschels are such as young readers will do well to lay to heart.



The study of astronomy a source of intellectual pleasure By contemplating the heavens, the mind is led to wonder and adore A proof of the existence of a Creator is afforded by creation "We praise thee, O Lord!" The beauty of Nature Intellectual curiosity "Order is Heaven's first law" Value of astronomical study


Herschel's parents The two brothers A musical family An inventive genius The brothers in England Herschel as an organist A laborious life Mechanical ingenuity of William Herschel Telescope making A Sunday misadventure Constructing a twenty foot telescope A domestic picture Discovery of a new planet Herschel's combined musical and astronomical pursuits A thirty foot telescope Casting the mirror An explosion


The house at Datchet Housekeeping details A devoted sister Life at Datchet Herschel's astronomical observations Testing and trying "eyepieces" The colossal telescope Miss Herschel's accident Removed to Slough Constructing a forty foot telescope Brother and sister Heroic self denial Occupations at Slough Royal liberality An astronomer's triumphs About the nebulae Investigation of the sun's constitution The solar spots, and their influence Physical constitution of the moon Lunar volcanoes Arago's explanation Herschel's study of the planets Satellites of Saturn Discovery of Uranus And of its six satellites Study of Pigott's comet and the comet of 1811 Description of the latter An uneventful life Herschel's marriage His honours Extracts from his sister's diary Decaying strength Herschel removes to Bath Last days of an astronomer Illustration of the ruling passion Death of Sir William Herschel His achievements


Birth and education of Sir John Herschel Honours at Cambridge First publication Continues his scientific studies His numerous literary contributions His devotion to his father's reputation The forty foot telescope Herschel's observations on the double and triple stars On the refraction and polarization of light Catalogue of nebulae and star clusters Voyage to Cape Town Letter to Miss Herschel Study of the southern heavens Return to England Distinctions conferred upon him His "Familiar Lectures on Scientific Subjects" His description of volcanoes and earthquakes Continual changes in the configuration of the earth Violent earthquakes Phenomena of volcanic eruptions In Mexico In the island of Sumbawa Herschel's theory of volcanic forces His character


Caroline Herschel's devotion to her brother William Her grief and solitariness at his death Reflections on the mutability of human things Aunt and nephew A parsimonious government Miss Herschel's gold medal South on Sir William's discoveries On Miss Herschel's devotion Her own astronomical discoveries Her life at Hanover Her wonderful memory Anecdotes of Sir John Herschel Correspondence between aunt and nephew The path of duty Sir John's visit to Miss Herschel Reminiscences of early years A nonogenarian A Christmas in Hanover Last days of Caroline Herschel Her death Her epitaph

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