In Search of William Gascoigne
William Gascoigne (c.1612-44) was the inventor of the telescopic sight and micrometer (instruments crucial to the advance of astronomy). His name is now known to historians of science around the world. For some considerable time after his tragic death at the age of 32 in the English Civil War, however, it seemed as if his achievements would be consigned to oblivion. Most of his papers were lost and even the few that survived have largely disappeared. This is the story of how his work was rescued. Into this story is woven an account of the state of astronomy and optics during Gascoigne’s lifetime, so that the reader can appreciate the significance of his discoveries.
The only book devoted to the tragically short life of William Gascoigne and his invention of the telescopic sight and micrometer—instruments crucial to the advance of astronomy Provides a glimpse into the turbulent world facing a young English astronomer in the early seventeenth century and the state of optics and astronomy in his time Tells a captivating story of how Gascoigne’s work was gradually recovered and his achievement was rescued from oblivion, containing much correspondence that has never been published before