Clerke, Agnes M.

Modern Cosmogonies

  • First edition of this work on cosmogony by one of the “great popularisers of science of the Victorian period” (Ogilvie, p. 270).

    Agnes Mary Clerke was taught at home by her scholarly parents, and “by the age of eleven she had mastered Herschel’s Outlines of Astronomy” (Ogilvie p. 270). Settling in London in 1877, she pursued a career as a writer, producing a remarkable body of work. Clerke “possessed the rare ability to communicate clearly the complexities of scientific theory to a popular audience, while synthesising masses of astronomical information into a coherent whole for professional scientists, who had become so specialised that they could not see the larger connection between their work and other current discoveries in astronomy” (Ogilvie p. 270). Though she never held a position at a university or observatory, Clerke gained “partial admission” to the male-dominated word of astronomy. She had an extensive correspondence with other astronomers, was awarded the Actonian Prize by the Royal Institution, and in 1903 was elected an honorary member of the Royal Astronomical Society.

  • London: Adam and Charles Black, 1905.

    Octavo. Original blue-green cloth, titles to spine gilt, black endpapers. Pencilled ownership inscription to the half title and some notes within the text, particularly to the final page. Tobacco smell from leaves, closed tear to page 163 affecting text without loss of sense. A very good copy in the fresh cloth.





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