William and Caroline Herschel: Background information when reading The Blind Astronomer's Daughter

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The Blind Astronomer's Daughter

by John Pipkin

The Blind Astronomer's Daughter by John Pipkin X
The Blind Astronomer's Daughter by John Pipkin
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  • First Published:
    Oct 2016, 480 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2017, 480 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Lisa Butts

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
William and Caroline Herschel

John Pipkin brings the astronomer siblings, William and Caroline Herschel, vividly to life in The Blind Astronomer's Daughter. While the novel shines light on Caroline in particular, William, with his impressive discoveries and status as England's astronomy golden boy, provides motivation for the fictional Arthur Ainsworth's quest for renown.

William and Caroline Herschel were born in Hanover in 1738 and 1750, respectively. Today, Hanover is part of Germany; at the time it was a state within the Holy Roman Empire and the birthplace of both George I and II. George III was born in England and was simultaneously King of The United Kingdom and Hanover - although he apparently never visited the latter. Upon the invasion of the French in 1757, William fled to Bath where he began his career as a musician. As a child, Caroline contracted typhus, which left her stunted and visibly scarred. Her father encouraged her to learn a trade, as she was unlikely to attract a marriage proposal, so in ...

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