New historical data on Madame Messier
When Jean-Paul Philbert investigated historical materials for
his new book (2000), he found documents which clearly
demonstrate that some popular views of Charles Messier's life, especially
on his private life, and the life and death of his wife, are lore and need
to be straitened. Therefore, parts of our historical section on Charles
Messier need to be modified: Following older reports like that of
Kenneth Glyn Jones, it was assumed that Madame Messier
(on whom not much was known by us) died in 1798 at considerable age. The
confusion may have happened with the death of Messier's sister Anne.
However, according to the new data, Madame Messier passed away already on
March 23, 1772, following the birth of a baby boy, who was christened
Antoine-Charles. Their young son died a few days later.
Consequently, Charles Messier's private life was remarkably different from
our previous, and other biographies, and a lot of detail must be worked over
again. This may also bring new light in many aspects of Messier's work, and
in weighing of previous Messier related reseach.
More details on this interesting thread is to come here very soon..
- Jean-Paul Philbert:
Charles Messier. Le furet des cometes.
Editions Pierron, 2 rue Gutenberg, 57206 Sarreguemines, France, 2000.
- Kenneth Glyn Jones:
Messier's Nebulae and Star Clusters.
Faber & Faber, 1968; 2nd revised edition
Cambridge University Press, 1991.
Last Modification: November 24, 1999