One of the leading French astronomers of the nineteenth century rejoiced in the name of Urbain Jean Joseph Le Verrier. About his brilliance there was no doubt at all; he was one of the best mathematicians of the time, and though primarily an astronomer he was also responsible for setting up the French meteorological survey. He is also said to have been one of the rudest men who had ever lived, and at one stage in his career he was dismissed as Director of the Paris Observatory because of his “irritability”, though he was reinstated when his successor, Delaunay, was drowned in a freak boating accident. One of Le Verrier’s colleagues said of him that “although he might not be the most detestable man in France, he was certainly the most detested”.


Village Doctor Total Solar Eclipse Paris Observatory Total Eclipse Amateur Astronomer 
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© Springer-Verlag London Limited 2007

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