From the reviews:
“Dr. Neil English is no stranger to the astronomical community … . His knowledge of telescope optics is highly respected, and here he endeavours to lay down all his knowledge in a concise and thorough manner. He opens the book with a wonderful overview of the history of the telescope … . this book something you really want to own, as it’s a guide not only to what is achievable by anyone with modest equipment, but also what to aspire to. Thoroughly recommended.” (Nick Howes, Astronomy Now Online, May, 2011)
“Neil English opens with a brief history of refractor design, including the contributions of Lippershey, Galileo and Huygens, amongst others. … the text is clearly written and there’s plenty of useful data in the appendix. … it’s a valuable resource for anyone thinking about buying a refractor or who wants to learn more about the history and development of this iconic scientific instrument.” (Mark Parrish, BBC Sky at Night Magazine, June, 2011)
“Having owned around a dozen refractors over the years–ranging from a ‘lowly’ 40mm refractor, through several antique examples to a go-to refractor–I was keen to read a book that promised to reinforce my love for ‘the prince of telescopes’. … An excellent, up-to-date book containing much more than I have outlined in this review. English communicates his passion for refractors, and the book comes to life with user accounts of refractors old and new.” (Peter Grego, Popular Astronomy, July-August, 2011)
“Value to have accessible a comprehensive guide to the availability and use of refractors, which have a special attraction and romance –– especially for those who have used and appreciated the best of them. … The short but useful appendices include glossaries of terms and formulae, and data on a selection of double stars which can be used for testing refractors of various apertures. … Even for those with only the slightest interest, it would certainly inspire them.” (R. A. Marriott, The Observatory, Vol. 131 (1224), October, 2011)
From the Back Cover
The refracting telescope has a long and illustrious past. Here’s what the author says about early telescopes and today’s refractors: “Four centuries ago, a hitherto obscure Italian scientist turned a home-made spyglass towards the heavens. The lenses he used were awful by modern standards, inaccurately figured and filled with the scars of their perilous journey from the furnace to the finishing workshop. Yet, despite these imperfections, they allowed him to see what no one had ever seen before – a universe far more complex and dynamic than anyone had dared imagine. But they also proved endlessly useful in the humdrum of human affairs. For the first time ever, you could spy on your neighbor from a distance, or monitor the approach of a war-mongering army, thus deciding the fate of nations. “The refractor is without doubt the prince of telescopes. Compared with all other telescopic designs, the unobstructed view of the refractor enables it to capture the sharpest, highest contrast images and the widest usable field. No other telescope design can beat it on equal terms. From a practical point of view, refractors are the most comfortable and least troublesome telescope to observe with. They require little maintenance and cool down rapidly to allow you to observe in minutes rather than hours. Because a refractor has more back focus than almost any other form of telescope, it can accept the widest range of accessories, including filters, cameras, and binoviewers.” Explore in this book what makes refractors such a good choice for amateur astronomers and how to choose the right one for you. Also get some great tips on how to use your new refractor. Get started now, seeing for yourself the dazzling and complex universe first opened to human sight more just 400 years ago.