Cassini’s Vision by Brian Lavery
Giovanni Domenico Cassini [1625 – 1712] was a noted astronomer, mathematician and engineer. People may remember the Cassini-Huygens space research mission [1997-2017] named after him and a contemporary Dutch astronomer, physicist and mathematician.
Brian Lavery’s story is an entertaining read. It held my interest and has no dull bits. I highly recommend it. The book covers Cassini’s time in Italy, i.e. up to 1669 when he moved to France. Could there be a sequel book in the future? Brian’s story is at least as much about the Italy of the time as about Cassini’s discoveries in astronomy. It explores Cassini’s domestic situation and how the household operates, the differences among the Italian city states, and the international cooperation among scientists of the time.
The suffocating power of the Roman Catholic Church on independent thought is a recurring theme [it was a time of the inquisition]. Reading the book, it is obvious that Brian knows a lot about the Roman Catholic Church and the inquisition. And that he has done a lot of research.
As I have said, I highly recommend this book. It is a fun read and you will learn from it as well. It is available as a paperback and as an ebook. Brian Holliday
Brian Lavery is a long-time member of U3A Sunshine Coast and has tutored technology and discussion classes. He set up the U3A Sunshine Coast website and single-handedly ran it for some years.
ISBN 978-0648846604 ebook ISBN 978-0648846642 paperback