portrait of Jérôme de Lalande

Jérôme de Lalande
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Jérôme de Lalande

Joseph Jérôme Lefrançais de Lalande was was born on 11 July 1732 in Bourg-en-Bresse, in eastern France, nestling at the base of the Jura mountains. Like Fontenelle, he received a Jesuit education and his father intended him to follow a legal career. Like the author of Plurality of Worlds, the young Lalande soon became distracted by the allure of the sciences, particularly astronomy.

As Reviser of Plurality of Worlds

His own Astronomie des Dames doesn't appear to have been a great success and There is surely also a hint of jealousy when he says 'The Astronomy for Ladies, which I have published as a substitute for this book, would be more instructive, but less amusing; therefore as it will be but little read, I shall endeavour to supply the defects of Fontenelle’s work; by adding to the original some ideas more exact than his own.'

Yuck!

He was in the habit of eating spiders.

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