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Even though this book was first published in 1898, it's still in print, still on the required reading list, and remains to this day one of the best introductions to the history of astronomy that anyone has ever written. At 440 pages, it goes into a bit of technical detail, but not so much as to be overwhelming.
Just off hand, I get the impression that this is the sort of book that, along with Plutarch's Lives, would be on the required reading list at the better prep schools (e.g., Philips Exeter) or what the British call public schools (Eton, Harrow, etc.). The rest of, if we're lucky, would read it in college, but only if we major in astronomy.
The way I discovered it was by being a regular reader of Scientific American (and the sort of books they advertize and review) and finding Arthur Berry's book frequently mentioned by writer's I admire (for example Isaac Asimov mentioning that he read this book when he was in high school).