on 11 July 2001
A small book, beautifully and concisely written, with a new perspective on the telescope and (for the size of the book) a wealth of information on it's discovery, early users and development up to the time the Hubble Telescope aimed at the small dot of space that became the Hubble Deep Field.
I found Dava Sobel's book "Galileo's Daughter" fascinating and reading about Galileo again, from a different author and a different angle, was a pleasure. But this short and enticing book is about far more than Galileo; it looks at the development of the telescope and how this followed and, frequently, preceded other developments throughout history.
From the backdrop of the Middle Ages, the use of glass to correct eyesight and the development of art to represent a three dimensional world to fibre optics and computer manipulation of light, x-ray evidence of black holes and radio waves evidence of planets in other solar systems this is a fascinating book, skillfully written and thoroughly enjoyable.
The fact that the people and discoveries have all been written about elsewhere in other admirable books does nothing to detract from the pleasure of reading this book. It is, as the blurb on the jacket proclaims, "a gem of a book".