Sunday, 1 April 2012


Samuel Edwards, The Copernican System: a Poem (1728)—links Copernicanism with the Hanoverian succession on grounds of nationality: ‘concerning Copernicus, his Labours can speak him best,’ Edwards notes in the poem’s Preface, adding ‘but I beg Leave to acquaint the Reader that he was born in GERMANY. How are we indebted to that Empire, to which we owe the best of KINGS!’  Astronomical observation ( ‘curious we behold thy [Jupiter’s] many Belts/That gird thy Spacious Body round and large,/Formed from thick Vapours or Eruption dire’ [11]) jostles for place with political exhortation: ‘but cease intestine Broils; so GEORGE commands, … Astrea shall return to bless our Isle/And a new Athens in Britannia rise.’ [16]

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