James F. Tennant, Soldier Turned Astronomer
During the 1868 eclipse, Janssen and his French colleagues faced tough competition from their British counterparts. Indeed, the success of the 1868 eclipse was partly due to the meticulously organized expeditions led by the British astronomers. And most of the credit for that goes to James F. Tennant, who had first drawn the ‘astronomers’ attention to the eclipse. It was on his behest—after his papers and reports on the eclipse were published—that the Royal Astronomical Society arranged for instruments and personnel to carry out observations.