Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

Lot 351

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(1792-1871) English astronomer, the son of William Herschel who continued his father's studies of nebulae and double stars, named the seven moons of Saturn and four moons of Uranus, among other accomplishments. A pair of A.L.S.s, the first 4pp. 8vo., Collingwood, Sept. 24, 1849, to the Scottish poet and dramatist Joanna Baillie concerning her poem "Ahalya Baee". In part: "...thank you...for Ahalya Baee which has delighted us exceedingly. It is a sweet simply told tale of a jewel of a woman & a Queen, tried sorely between good and evil...I like especially her straitforward [sic], directness of character...the wisdom of the serpent & the innocence of the dove. It is very sweetly told and the verse...in harmony with the character you describe. It is delightful to see your poetical powers still so fresh & so fluent & I hope you have another legend yet untold. Pray give my kindest and best regards to your excellent sister who the years visit lightly as they only enfeeble the body frame without quelling the spirit...", and jokingly ends with observations about giants and dwarves: "...the best dwarf was the King of Poland!...". Stain to margin of final page, otherwise very good. With a second A.L.S. 2pp. 8vo., Collingwood, Nov. 10, 1869 to an unidentified lady, in part: "...Both Lady Herschel and myself think we will like to see the mention made of our son John in the next edition of my Astronomy just published, which you will receive...from Messrs. Longman, and shewing that the spirit of Astronomy is not yet extinct in this family. You will find it in the Note (O) at the end of the volume...He has merited this mention as an independent thinker...having worked very hard at that eclipse of 1868 in addition to his other hard...work...". Light foxing, very good. Two pieces.

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March 30, 2011 11:00 AM EDT

Stamford, CT, US

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