The Starlight Night: The Sky in the Writings of Shakespeare, Tennyson, and Hopkins

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Springer, Nov 5, 2015 - Science - 214 pages

In this updated second edition renowned amateur comet-searcher David H. Levy expands on his work about the intricate relationship between the night sky and the works of English Literature. This revised and expanded text includes new sections on Alfred Lord Tennyson and Gerald Manley Hopkins (both amateur astronomers), extending the time period analyzed in the first edition from early modern literature to encompass the Victorian age. Although the sky enters into much of literature through the ages, British authors offer an especially fertile connection to the heavens, and Levy links the works of seminal authors from Shakespeare on to specific celestial events and scientific advances.

From the impact of comets and supernovae to eclipses, Levy’s ultimate goal in this book is to inspire his readers to do the same thing as their ancestors did so long ago—look up and appreciate the stars. His insights in this revised book spread farther and wider than ever before in this learned and enchanting tour of the skies.

 

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Contents

The Stella Novae of 1572 and 1604
3
Comets and Meteors A Rich Harvest from 1573 to 1607
13
These Late Eclipses
26
Of Signs and Seasons
47
The Telescope in Early Modern English Literature
60
The Sky in the Poetry of Tennyson and Hopkins
77
Bridging the Centuries Astronomical Discoveries Between the Eras of Shakespeare and of Tennyson and Hopkins
79
Leading up to Literature in the Victorian Age Moving Toward Hopkins and Tennyson
91
Section Codes
168
Eclipses
169
The Moon Except Lunar halos
170
Planets
171
Stars
172
The Milky Way
179
The Starlight Night
180
Astronomical and Related References of a Philosophical Nature
182

Arise and Fly
97
Scarce Worth Discovery
117
Hopkins and The Starlight Night
127
Conclusion
137
A Selection of References to the Sky in Writings from 1572 to 1620
141
A General References to Astronomy
142
B Stars
144
C Planets
149
D Moon and Sun
151
E Sunrises Sunsets and Night
155
F Haloes Parhelia and Parselenae
160
G Meteors
162
H Nonspecific Astrological References
165
A Catalog of Astronomical References in the Writings of Gerard Manley Hopkins
167
Letters to Nature
187
Astrological and Astromythological References
188
Direct or Indirect References to Music of the Spheres
190
Works Cited A Chaps 15
191
Notes to Chap 10
199
Notes to Appendix
200
Secondary Material
201
Bibliography
206
Contemporary Journals and Newspapers
208
Astronomical and Related Works
209
Other Works
210
Index
212
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

David H. Levy is one of the most successful comet discoverers in history. He has discovered 22 comets, nine of them using his own backyard telescopes. With Eugene and Carolyn Shoemaker at the Palomar Observatory in California he discovered Shoemaker-Levy 9, the comet that collided with Jupiter in 1994. That episode produced the most spectacular explosions ever witnessed in the solar system. Levy is currently involved with the Jarnac Comet Survey, which is based at the Jarnac Observatory in Vail, Arizona but which has telescopes planned for locations around the world.
Levy is the author or editor of 35 books and other products. He won an Emmy in 1998 as part of the writing team for the Discovery Channel documentary, "Three Minutes to Impact." As the Science Editor for Parade Magazine from 1997 to 2006, he was able to reach more than 80 million readers, almost a quarter of the population of the United States. A contributing editor for Sky and Telescope Magazine, he writes its monthly "Star Trails" column, and his "Nightfall" feature appears in each issue of the Canadian Magazine Sky news. In 2004 he was the Senator John Rhodes Chair in Public Policy and American Institutions at Arizona State University. He has been awarded five honorary doctorates and asteroid 3673 (Levy) was named in his honor. In 2010, David became the first person to discover comets visually, photographically and electronically.
Levy has a Ph. D. in English from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He is President of the National Sharing the Sky Foundation, an organization intended to inspire new generations to develop an inquiring interest in the sciences or in other words, to reach for the stars.

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