brainwagon "There is much pleasure in useless knowledge." — Bertrand Russell



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Gill – Six Months in Ascension

Gill Camp on Ascension IslandThose clever lads and lasses at Metafilter had a very cool link to Isabel Gill's Six Months in Ascension, written in 1877. Sir David Gill went to the island to observe Mars to determine its distance from the sun more accurately, and his wife Isabel went along to help out. This peek into a Victorian scientific expedition from the views of a non-scientist is revealing both in terms of its historical importance and in understanding the roles of men and women in Victorian society.

Don't miss out on Thomas Cave's webpage of his more recent astronomical trips to Ascension Island either.

A brief quote, just to entice you:

I cannot think why the poet says,

"Man wants but little here below."

It seems to me that man, and woman too, wants a very great deal; and the beauty of the universe and the contemplation of the glory of far-off worlds, what consolation do they give, when the kitchen-chimney smokes, when a tooth aches or a new shoe pinches?