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    Nevil Maskelyne.
    From: George Huxtable
    Date: 2004 Jul 13, 20:18 +0100

    Nevil Maskelyne, the Astronomer Royal that compiled the first Nautical
    Almanac, has always been something of a hero to me. He was vilified by
    Sobel, in her book "Longitude".
    At long last, after fruitless searching for over a year, a copy of Derek
    Howse's biography "Nevil Maskelyne- the Seaman's Astronomer" (Cambridge
    1989) has eventually come up on Abebooks, from a bookshop here in UK, and
    now I have a copy, and at a reasonable price.
    My wife grabbed it first, and has passed it on to me now she has finished
    it (you can see how the priorities go in this house...).
    She discovered that Maskelyne was buried in the village of Purton, North of
    Swindon, only 40 minutes or so drive from here, so proposed a lunchtime
    pilgrimage there. Anything for a pub lunch, I agreed, and we have just
    returned from a pleasant visit to Purton. Even though, being a devout
    atheist, I always feel rather uneasy in a church. Not much to report back,
    of course, just a stone tomb in the churchyard shaded by a great gnarled
    yew, and a Latin plaque inside the old church. And a pleasant village pub
    that does a good lunch with a tasty pint.
    Anyway, I recommend Howse's book for anyone that can find a copy.
    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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