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    Re: Cotter's "History of Nautical Astronomy"
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2006 Nov 28, 15:29 -0000

    "Nicol�s de Hilster" 
    wrote-
    
    
    "The book I
    ordered was however "History of the Navigator's Sextant". I did not 
    yet
    receive this book, it is due to arrive later this week or beginning 
    next
    week."
    
    I have that book, and expect that you will find it worthwhile.
    
    Writing about the sextant, Cotter seems to be much more on 
    home-ground, than he is on "History of Nautical Astronomy", and I'm 
    unaware of any errors.
    
    "I am not sure if I will buy "History of Nautical Astronomy" as well, 
    but
    if I do I will certainly keep the list in mind."
    
    My comments about its technical errors should not put you off. It does 
    a job that no other book that I know of does, the author having 
    seriously browsed through many old documents, in a well-endowed 
    library, and summarised many little-known, and more familiar, methods. 
    It's a pity that so much has been got wrong, though. I think our 
    error-list helps to make it more useful.
    
    "Being not completely informed about the author, I wonder if he is 
    still
    amidst us and if so, if he ever has been given the chance to respond 
    to
    the errors found (I guess it is 'no' twice)."
    
    He had been to sea, and then became a lecturer in Nautical College. 
    Yes, he died long before we got into his work.  However, his son 
    discovered our list of corrections, and we discussed it with him by 
    email in a very civilised manner, but without technical content, as he 
    is in a different field.
    
    "Do you create lists like these on other books as well?"
    
    No, that's the only book in which I have (with Jan) uncovered so many 
    errors, and the only one for which I've been impelled to issue such 
    corrections.
    
    George.
    
    contact George Huxtable at george@huxtable.u-net.com
    or at +44 1865 820222 (from UK, 01865 820222)
    or at 1 Sandy Lane, Southmoor, Abingdon, Oxon OX13 5HX, UK. 
    
    
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