Herschel's meeting with Napoleon, 1802

Herschel's meeting with Napoleon, 1802

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Herschel's meeting with Napoleon. Pages from a handwritten account authored by the German-born British astronomer William Herschel (1738-1822), of his meeting with Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821), together with the French mathematician and astronomer Pierre-Simon Laplace (1749-1827). This meeting took place in Paris, France, in 1802. Napoleon at the time styled himself "First Consul", declaring himself Emperor of France in 1804. The account mentions the building of a canal in France, Herschel's explanation of the working of the heavens to Napoleon, and Napoleon's argument with Laplace, including Napoleon's famous quote asking about the origin of the universe: "Who is the author of all this?"

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Keywords: 1800s, 1802, 19th century, account, artwork, astronomical, astronomy, biographical, black-and-white, book, canal building, emperor, english, europe, european, first consul, france, french, german-born, handwritten, herschel archives, historical, history, history of science, illustration, letter, meeting, memoir, monochrome, napoleon 1, napoleon bonaparte, paris, pierre simon laplace, pierre-simon laplace, research, story, title page, who is the author of all this, william herschel

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