Venus, 1.5 Centuries Ago
June 6, 2012 5:39 PM   Subscribe

In which Aubrey-Maturin Novel did the Transit of Venus appear?

I know for sure that the Transit of Venus was mentioned in one of Patrick O'Brien's novels, but for the life of me, and for all of Google's probity, I cannot find a mention.

Does anyone else remember this, from that series?
posted by Danf to Grab Bag (4 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
There was no transit during the time period in which the novels are set, so it was probably mentioned in reference to the previous transit in 1769, possibly regarding Captain Cook's travel to Tahiti to observe the transit. I'm posting from my phone on the train so can't jump over to the bookshelf but maybe start with one of the books with extended South Seas action?
posted by The Elusive Architeuthis at 5:52 PM on June 6, 2012

The Far Side of the World; someone mentions that Joseph Banks "was taken to Otaheite to observe the transit of Venus, which had no immediate practical application".
posted by elizardbits at 5:53 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yes, the 1769 Transit of Venus is discussed in The Far Side of the World. O'Brian also wrote a biography of Joseph Banks.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:58 PM on June 6, 2012

Searching on Google Books for {aubrey-maturin "transit of venus"} turns up the aforementioned bit in The Far Side of the World, and another mention in Clarissa Oakes ("... Joseph telling me that Otaheite, or Tahiti as some people say, was called King George's Island when he was there observing the transit of Venus ...").
posted by stebulus at 6:31 PM on June 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

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