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Telescope Teachings by Mary Ward - 1859


This lovely little book was written by the amateur astronomer Mrs. Mary Ward. She never intended this volume to be an astronomy textbook but rather an observing guide that describes what someone should be able to see through 2 inch refracting telescope. In addition, she goes into detail of her observations of Donati's Comet of 1858. One thing that I noticed about this book is that there is a gap between plates 3 and 5. It does not appear that plate 4 was ever present. I compared this volume with other volumes that were available online and they were also missing plate 4 so I would assume that is the way that the book was published. This copy was expertly rebacked at some point. At first I did not notice the rebacking but then I saw the indications of repair to the hinges and then closer inspection revealed that the spine had been replaced with the original cloth being preserved. Mary Ward was also known as a naturalist, microscopist and artist (she drew all of the illustrations in her books). Her other works are: "Sketches With the Microscope" (1857), "A World of Wonders, Revealed by the Microscope" (1857), "Entomology in Sport, and Entomology in Earnest" (1857), and "Microscope Teachings" (1864). She also holds the unfortunate distinction of being the first victim of an automobile accident. In 1869 she was visiting her cousins at Birr Castle when she fell off their steam powered automobile and broke her neck.