The following quote from Janet Taylor is appropriate at this season when we are remembering the Creator in human form coming to this earth. It comes from her introduction to the sixth edition of her Directions to the Planisphere of the Stars.
The science of Astronomy offers to the reflective mind, a wide field for study and contemplation, and tends much to raise the heart and feelings beyond the scenes of the world to that Almighty Being, who has spangled the heavens with innumerable orbs, each rolling in infinite space, and all maintaining the same beautiful order and harmony of motion as when they first issued forth from the hand of their Creator. . . . The magnificence and extent of the starry regions, increase as improvements in the telescope enable the observer to fathom further into the depths of space, but after all the mind of man has done in this science, her seems still on to rest on the threshold of his part of Creation, for it would almost appear to say to the most advanced of our Astronomers 'so far shalt thou go and no further.'*
This was written in 1863, the same year Frances penned these words:
My view of the grandeur of those heavens declaring the glory of God are almost infinitesimal, and the recent studies on the nebulae, and the late revolution in one of them, seem to lead to infintely sublime speculations.
If you get a clear night, be sure to go outside and look at that magnificence.
* Croucher p. 234
In her collected letters, Frances Rolleston defended women's abilities as scientists. I'm sorry that Janet Taylor's name doesn't appear in Frances' letters, but perhaps Frances did not know the great contribution Janet made to navigation.
They might have been good friends. They shared a love of the starry heavens (Janet drew and published a Planisphere of the Stars), they were both Christians who honored the Creator, and they also lived in the same areas of London, though at different times.
One of Janet's great contributions to the safety of sailing vessels was to adjust ships' compasses to overcome deviations due to the increasing use of iron in ship building. She developed instruments to improve navigation and diligently corrected charts to reflect newfound hazards throughout the world.
This is one biography I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Click on the image to go to the Amazon page.