1896 Eclipse Expedition Album

Forums History 1896 Eclipse Expedition Album

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    Bill Barton

    This just appeared on an internet book website


    Pity my pockets are deep enough to afford it, and that it’ll probably end up being inaccessible to historians.

    Martin Mobberley

    Hi Bill,

    That is a truly eye-watering price! I wonder if anyone will pay it?

    Seems ridiculously high, seeing as a vaguely similar book went to auction in 2022, in Oslo, with an estimated price of 800 to 1200 Euros.
    Of course the actual sale price may have been much higher..



    David C Rayment

    Lawrence Neville Holden (8 February 1864 – 12 March 1940).

    An interesting personal journal attributed to Lawrence Neville Holden. I suspect his friend Frank is actually his brother, Francis John Gerald Holden, who was an electrical engineer.

    Neville Holden is mentioned in Memoirs of the BAA, 1897, in respect of the Norway visit – see page 33. Frank G Holden is on the same list.
    For the other book, 165 copies were printed, so at least 165 exist (or did). Holden’s journal is a one-off, so should sell for a greater sum, but yes, pricey


    Well done to Bill for spotting this. There were BAA and RAS expeditions to Norway. The BAA one was summarised in a short Memoir at the time and in the large, rather rare hardback book which Martin gives the link to. The Memoir is one of those that was scanned for the CD edition of the BAA Memoirs which can be bought from our Shop. A pity that clouds prevailed, and that the only published photo shows the partially eclipsed Sun through cloud. The descriptions of the colours upon the clouds, and the landscape, are nice. The hardback book we do have in our collections, fortunately, and the pictures published in the album now for sale do look rather similar to those illustrated in it. The Archivists’ budget will not stretch to buying the item Bill has mentioned and, yes, doubtless it will become inaccessible in some private collection. The expedition was also marked by a set of 3×3 inch slides which covered similar subjects to the published hardback album. It was interesting to hear of the small print run of the hardback book. The books about the other 1890s BAA eclipse expeditions had a bigger print run, and are quite commonly to be found secondhand for a few tens of pounds each, and may even be currently available at that same book auction website. A company in India has been reprinting the latter books and other items, but I recommend that collectors try to obtain the original editions if possible, because the photographs will not likely have been reproduced at all well in the reprints. Of course, if anyone would like to buy the album Bill has drawn attention to and present it to the BAA, the archivists will be happy to hear from them!

    Bill Barton

    This image shows Sir Robert Ball Lecturing aboard the s.s. Norse King.

    I’d guess the gentleman on the extreme left is E W Maunder, and then Mrs Maunder before Dr A A Common. I cannot identify anyone else as their faces are not so well known.

    Bill Barton

    The BAA Memoir can be found at the following web address


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