William F. Denning, a Biographical Sketch

  • Neil English
Part of the Historical & Cultural Astronomy book series (HCA)


The mid to late nineteenth century was a period of frenetic astronomical activity in Britain. Inspired by the enthusiasm of home-grown ‘clerical’ popularizers of astronomy, such as W. R. Dawes and T. W. Webb, a new generation of British amateur astronomers arose, forming societies across the length and breadth of the country. They would take up the gauntlet of observing the heavens in search of booty. Telescopes were becoming more popular, not just the achromatic refractor, which held a special place in the history of Victorian astronomy, but also the Newtonian reflector, which was experiencing a bit of a Renaissance owing to the introduction of silver-on-glass mirrors offering decent aperture at prices that suited the budgets of many more amateurs. It was in this renewed spirit of enthusiasm that William F. Denning was to make his mark on the astronomical community (Fig. 18.1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Neil English
    • 1
  1. 1.Fintry by GlasgowUK

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