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    Re: Charles Cotter's "History of Nautical Astronomy"
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2003 Mar 25, 09:20 +0000

    Bill Allen said-
    >Hi guys,
    >A while back several of us were trying to get hold of a copy of Charles
    >Cotter's classic book on celestial navigation techniques, entitled "A
    >History of Nautical Astronomny."  I have arranged to get copies of this
    >book and if anyone is still interested in a copy, they should contact me
    >privately on my email address:
    >It really is a fantastic book and puts into perspective all of the
    >different techniques of celestial navigation.
    >Bill Allen
    Comment from George-
    That's really interesting news. I agree with Bill Allen's evaluation of the
    book. It's long out of print, and very hard to find now on the secondhand
    market. It goes deeply into its subject, so readers have to be prepared to
    cope with some trigonometry. Most satisfying as a book to have on your
    shelf. Mine gets taken down often, and has no time to gather dust.
    However, it's somewhat marred by a prevalence of errors and misprints. With
    Jan Kalivoda's help I have listed those errors I know about in a posting on
    this list dated 8 Jan 03, subject: "Errors in Cotter's book, updated",
    which should be findable on the list's archive. If anyone asks, I will
    repost it. It lists some passages that are obviously wrong, and others that
    the reader should treat with suspicion.
    I have discovered no more errors since, but I understand that Jan has, and
    I hope that between us we can agree on posting a further update to the
    Nav-Llist before very long.
    Because we have found such a number, I have little doubt others must
    remain, lurking undetected, so far. I urge any reader discovering or
    suspecting further errors to contact me, or Jan, or post directly to the
    Certainly, these problems detract from the usefulness of Cotter's book, and
    it's a shame that he wasn't more careful. It seems to have been put
    together in rather a hurry. However, such errors are neutralised once
    they're known about, and I suggest to any owner or reader of Cotter that he
    prints those pages off and slips them into the book, as I have.
    In spite of these faults, Cotter's book is a wonderful compilation of stuff
    you won't find anywhere else, and I urge readers of this list to take up
    Bill's offer.
    To avoid confusion, be aware that Cotter wrote several other books,
    including a history of the navigator's sextant, coastal navigation,
    oceanography. We are referring here to "A History of Nautical Astronomy".
    George Huxtable.
    contact George Huxtable by email at george@huxtable.u-net.com, by phone at
    01865 820222 (from outside UK, +44 1865 820222), or by mail at 1 Sandy
    Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK.

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