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    Re: Cotter - copy located
    From: Courtney Thomas
    Date: 2004 Sep 10, 18:12 -0500

    A pleasure to hear from you.
    I've recently been given "Spherical and Practical Astronomy" by
    Chauvenet [2 vols], which I've not yet read in.
    What are your thoughts on it ?
    George Huxtable wrote:
    > Courtney Thomas asked, about Cotter's "A History of Nautical Astronomy"-
    >>There's one on abebooks.com for $199.50.
    >>May I ask why is this book(s) worth $200 ?
    > The short answer is because the seller, presumably, thinks he can get it,
    > on account of the rarity and uniqueness of this book.
    > I have asked on this list if members know of other works which explain
    > pre-Sumner navigation techniques without skipping the basic maths involved,
    > to meet my own interests and I guess those of a significant fraction of
    > Nav-L members
    > Some suggestions have been-
    > Hewson, JB, "A history of the practice of navigation", 1951 (who skips the
    > maths of the lunar).
    > May, WE, "A history of marine navigation", Good on compasses, avoids all maths.
    > Albuquerque, Luis de. "Astronomical Navigation" (Lisbon, 1988). Confines
    > itself to 15th-16th century Portuguese navigation, so latitude navigation
    > only.
    > Forbes, Eric G, "The birth of navigation science", 1974. National Maritime
    > Museum pamphlet No.10. About the longitude problem, lunars, and
    > chronometers, but in words and pictures only. Lots of references.
    > I have all of these on my shelves but have found that none does the job
    > that Cotter does, so to me, Cotter occupies a unique place been unafraid of
    > getting into the mathematical background. His book also contains a
    > remarkable list of references.
    > He was a lecturer at a nautical college in Cardiff, Wales, which must have
    > held a first-class historical library in which to delve.
    > But in my view he was working right at the limits of his understanding. In
    > this field he was quite on his own, as his son has recently confirmed to
    > me. It was before the days of email, so Cotter didn't have the chance,
    > which we now enjoy on Nav-l, to offer his ideas to the criticism and
    > argument of others.
    > Perhaps as a result, his book is littered with technical errors, which is
    > my biggest (perhaps my only) criticism. Jan Kalivoda and I (with help from
    > Herbert Prinz) have assembled a web-page which lists points at which errors
    > lurk (or are suspected to lurk). It does not claim to be exhaustive, but
    > aims be useful to any reader or owner of Cotter's book. We recommend that
    > it be printed out and slipped between the pages. You can find it on-
    > www.huxtable.u-net.com/cotter01.htm
    > Cotter wrote several other books on nautical topics: "A history of the
    > navigator's sextant" (which is good), and standard texts, "The complete
    > coastal navigator" and, I think, on the Physical Geography of the Oceans,
    > which are so-so. So make sure you acquire the right Cotter.
    > ============
    > Geoff Butt didn't give information for contacting Warsash Nautical
    > Bookshop. Warsash is is at the upper end of Portsmouth Harbour in the UK.
    > The phone number I have here is-
    > 01481 572384 or from outside UK +44 1481 572384. Sorry, but I don't have
    > their email address to hand. I can recommend them as good people to deal
    > with. Geoff didn't say how much they were asking for Cotter, but I bet it
    > was a lot less than $200!
    > George.
    > ================================================================
    > contact George Huxtable by email at george---.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.
    > ================================================================
    s/v Mutiny
    Rhodes Bounty II
    lying Oriental, NC

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