"This book offers a major corrective to the current literature as it stands by challenging the idea that the end of the nineteenth century represents a period when state-supported science triumphed over the laissez-faire attitude of the earlier part of the same century. Lee Macdonald provides us with a new perspective, one that enhances not just the richness of the period but also the historical actors involved and, of course, the institution that Kew Observatory was."—Omar Nasim, author of Observing by Hand: Sketching the Nebulae in the Nineteenth Century
"Macdonald has skillfully combined Kew Observatory's multistranded histories into a single narrative set within a framework of perceptive analysis. Meticulously researched from previously neglected primary sources, this impressive book will be an essential reference for anyone interested in the complex interplay between science and the state during the Victorian period."
—Louise E. Devoy, Curator, Royal Observatory, Greenwich