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Cotter, Charles H., A History of the Navigator's Sextant. Glasgow: Brown, Son & Ferguson, Ltd., 1983. ISBN 0-85174-427-3. 24x18cm., viii, 226pp., illustrated, cloth. (4-10 Darnley St., Glasgow G41 2SD, Scotland, £10 plus postage)

This is a scholarly history of this most influential instrument, tracing its development from its early roots in Alexandria.  I was glad to see Robert Hooke getting proper credit.  After Hooke died, a crazed and jealous Newton did everything in his power to wipe out the memory of Hooke's accomplishments.  One of my beliefs is that most persons dealing with early maps (including me) have almost no knowledge of scientific navigational and mapping principles.  Many writers on early cartography avoid technical subjects such as projections as if they were the plague.  However, the more one knows about a topic, the greater is one's appreciation.  This book might be a good place to start one's learning.  The publisher offers a large number of other seafaring books and nautical prints in their nautical catalog.

David C. Jolly, 1989

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