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TraitÃ© de MÃ©canique CÃ©leste - LAPLACE, Pierre Simon, Marquis de - 1798. 
Folding engraved plate in Vol. IV. Five vols. in three. Large 4to, a prize binding of mid-19th cent. calf (joints & a few corners carefully repaired, some foxing), arms in gilt of Trinity College, Cambridge on upper & lower covers, double gilt fillet round sides, spines nicely gilt, another version of the arms stamped in gilt in bottom compartment of each volume, modern but wonderfully sympathetic red & green morocco lettering pieces on spines. Paris: J.B.M. Duprat & others, An VII -1825. First edition and a complete set with all the supplements. In this monumental and fundamental astronomical work, Laplace - the "Newton of France" - codified and developed the theories and achievements of Newton, Euler, d'Alembert, and Lagrange. "Laplace maintained that while all planets revolve round the sun their eccentricities and the inclinations of their orbits to each other will always remain small. He also showed that all these irregularities in movements and positions in the heavens were self-correcting, so that the whole solar system appeared to be mechanically stable. He showed that the universe was really a great self-regulating machine and the whole solar system could continue on its existing plan for an immense period of time. This was a long step forward from the Newtonian uncertainties in this respectâ€¦Laplace also offered a brilliant explanation of the secular inequalities of the mean motion of the moon about the earth - a problem which Euler and Lagrange had failed to solveâ€¦He also investigated the theory of the tides and calculated from them the mass of the moon."-Printing & the Mind of Man 252. A very good set. Prize bookplate of Trinity College, Cambridge ("The Rev. Edward Yeats' Prize") presented to C. Niven, January 1867. Later signature of R.V. Jones on front endpapers. Ex Bibliotheca Mechanica with bookplate (this copy was at the binder in Paris for fourteen years). Our set has the first state, with the earlier dates, of the titles of Vols. I and II, and all the supplements. As is occasionally the case, the half-title of Vol. II is lacking. ? Dibner, Heralds of Science, 14. D.S.B., XV, pp. 273-403. En FranÃ§ais dans le Texte 201. Horblit 63. Roberts & Trent, Bibliotheca Mechanica, pp. 197-98.
[Bookseller: Jonathan A. Hill, Bookseller, Inc.]
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