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An original theory or new hypothesis of the universe, founded upon the laws of nature, and solving by mathematical principles the general phaenomena of the visible creation; and particularly the Via Lactea
London: printed for the author, and sold by H. Chapelle, 1750. First edition, 4to, pp. viii, [4], 84; title page printed in red and black, 32 engraved plates (2 folding, 8 rather spectacular ones in mezzotint), wood-engraved initials, head- and tailpieces, with the errata- and list of subscribers leaves, without the final blank; recent full speckled calf by Phil Dusel, double gilt-rule on covers, gilt-decorated spine in 7 compartments, red morocco label in 1, gilt edges; quarter tan calf clamshell box. A very nice, large copy measuring 11 3/8" x 9". The list of subscribers consists of a mere 113 names, so the edition was likely a small one and the book is consequently rare. A beautifully illustrated book, and one of considerable importance in the history of science. Wright first explained the Milky Way and the nebulae as external galaxies and provided the basis for the theories on the universe by Kant, Herschel and Laplace. Wright, a teacher of navigation and a land surveyor by profession, "hypothesized a 'divine center' of the universe, corresponding to a gravitational center around which the sun and other stars orbited. He also proposed, as a possible explanation for the visual phenomenon of the Milky Way, a model of the universe in which the orbiting stars formed a flattened ring. This hypothesis caused Immanuel Kant, who did not realize that Wright's 'center' was supernatural, to credit Wright with originating a disk-shaped model of the galaxy" (Norman). Norman 2265; DSB XIV, p.518-9; Honeyman 3143; Gingerich, Rara Astronomica 53.
      [Bookseller: Rulon-Miller Books]
Last Found On: 2017-04-12           Check availability:      Biblio    

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