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Watercolour of Buckingham House's East Library

George III amassed an extensive collection of books and manuscripts

James Ferguson (1710–76)

Astronomy explained upon Sir Isaac Newton's principles and made easy to those who have not studied mathematics 1756

26.4 x 3.0 x 22.0 cm (book measurement (inventory)) | RCIN 1090094

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James Ferguson was a Scottish astronomer who became well known for his travelling lectures and easy-to-understand works on the basics of astronomy. This book was his first major work and it earned him an immediate scientific reputation, resulting in his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1763. It provides simple illustrated instructions on the workings of an orrery (a mechanical model of the solar system) and describes the movements of the planets, timings of eclipses and the discoveries of other astronomers such as Johannes Kepler, Sir Isaac Newton and Edmond Halley.