Culture and Cosmos is a peer-reviewed academic journal in the history of astrology and cultural astronomy published in association with the Sophia Centre for the Study of Cosmology in Culture, School of Archaeology, History and Anthropology, University of Wales Trinity Saint David

Vol 18 no 2 (Autumn/Winter 2014 will be published in July/August 2016. Vol. 19 (2015) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2013 Sophia Centre conference on Celestial Magic and is scheduled for publication in September/October 2016. Vol. 20 (2016) will be a double issue featuring the proceedings of the 2014 Sophia Centre conference on the Marriage of Heaven and Earth.

Volume 16

The Bath Philosophical Society and its Influence on William Herschel’s Career

Francis Ring


At a time when eighteenth-century Bath was rapidly expanding, new buildings and an influx of people made it one of the most popular places outside London. The city became a centre for fashion, music, learning, and architecture on a new scale. It became a centre also for discussion on current affairs, since newspapers were not freely available. Some were fascinated by science though few had a chance to study the new interests of the time. There were travelling teachers who made money by going around the country to give illustrated talks on scientific subjects. It is said that the private hiring of such people was an influential and entertaining way of reaching your friends and contacts. One such was Dr Desagulier, who ran a course on Experimental Philosophy in Bath. His course included optics and he used a Planetarium to demonstrate the motions of the heavenly bodies.

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