Whiston’s second eclipse map

By WHISTON, William, 1715 

A Full Account of the last Total Eclipse of the Sun April 22.d 1715. Together with a Calculation and Construction of y.e next great Eclipse of y.e Sun May 11.th 1724 for Dublin, Bristol, London, Paris & Venice. By W. Whiston M.A. Engraved by John Senex.

Celestial
  • Author: WHISTON, William
  • Publication place: London
  • Publisher: John Senex
  • Publication date: 1715.
  • Physical description: Engraved print in good condition, minor restoration to folds.
  • Dimensions: 480 by 510mm. (19 by 20 inches).
  • Inventory reference: 11269

Notes

Whiston’s second eclipse map” is a rather complicated geometrical depiction of the actual passage of the eclipse. As with Halley, Whiston produced both a predictive version of this sheet and then a second version to show the actual events. The dense text and complicated diagrams make this rather inaccessible, especially when compared to the simplicity of Halley’s map. This may well account for its rarity, and for the fact that Whiston reverted to geographical types for his later attempts at eclipse mapping.

Half the sheet is given to a lengthy textual analysis of the eclipse; the upper diagram depicts the passage of the eclipse over the skin” of the globe, and the lower is a predictive diagram showing the position of the planets and fixed stars as they would be visible during the period of total darkness in the 1724 eclipse.

Publication of this engraving was trailed in the Daily Courant for 2nd August, 1715 and in the Post Man for 12th-15th November, but was first announced in the Evening Post (issue 989) for 6th-8th December, as This day is publish’d” (and Just published” in the Post Man for 10th- 13th December, 1715).