December 6, 1860
"I have been able in the last fortnight to explain every one of the figures in the Dendera Zodiac and Planisphere, over which I had been puzzling in vain for the last thirty years."
In her younger years, Frances Rolleston had collected piles of information to support her theory that the ancient starry signs and constellations illustrated God's plan of salvation through the God-man Jesus. Now in her seventies and eighties she was organizing that material for publication.
Since she considered this—her book Mazzaroth—to be the major work of her life, it must have been frustrating not to be able to work out the meanings of the zodiac figures from the Temple of Dendera in Egypt. Before the planisphere was removed and brought to France, a drawing of it had circulated, and FR's friend and neighbor, William Hone, had given her a print of it.
FR had worked with planispheres of Greek and Indian origin, and others, but this one had taken 30 years of scrutiny. How triumphant FR must have felt when she told her friend Caroline Dent that she could now explain every one of its figures. A less diligent person might have given up long before.