In the nineteenth century, the British Government spent money measuring the distance between the earth and the sun using observations of the transit of Venus. This book presents a narrative of the two Victorian transit programmes. It draws out their cultural significance and explores the nature of “big science” in late-Victorian Britain.
An excellent history of the transit of Venus. . . . This well-researched volume, which includes 25 pages of notes, judicious use of archives, and an excellent bibliography, takes its place in the considerable literature generated by the last transit.