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This book offers an overview of the history of the telescope which burst onto the world stage four centuries ago. It traces the development from its invention in the Netherlands in 1608 to its everyday usage in the modern world, both on earth and beyond. Along the way we enter the world of the innovators and adventurers who helped shape the story, discovering how Galileo used the telescope to create his reputation as one of the great scientists of all times, what Isaac Newton was doing with arsenic and why the most advanced telescopes owe so much to the science of spying. But the real excitement in this book lies in the less familiar stories; you should expect to find out about the dangers of termites, some imaginative uses of a well . . . and a Model T Ford. The important development of the telescope as a modest hand-held device, and its impact on culture and society is covered with as much enthusiasm and interest as the well-known stories of scientific ingenuity.