Joseph Jérôme Le Français de Lalande letters to Mme. Dupiery
L. Tom Perry Special Collections is pleased to announce the availability of a new digitized collection: Joseph Jérôme Le Français de Lalande letters to Mme. Dupiery (Vault MSS 530). Materials include thirty-three letters written from de Lalande to Mme. de Piery discussing his work, the current political situation, and personal matters. Portions of three letters have been excised, possibly because of their political content. Some items are not dated, others are dated using the calendar adopted by the French following the Revolution (1789-1792) with no attempt to correlate these dates with the Gregorian calendar. All items are handwritten in French, some signed. All but one are enclosed in a contemporary paper folder with a summary of the contents and the date of the letter written on the outside. Dated 1779-1806.
Joseph Jérôme Le Français de Lalande was born on July 11, 1732, at Bourg-en-Bresse to Pierre Lefrançois and Marie Anne Gabrielle Monchinet. He went to Paris to study law, but was drawn to astronomy and became a pupil of both Joseph-Nicolas Delisle and Pierre Charles Le Monnier. At the age of twenty, Lalande was admitted to the Academy of Berlin, as well as elected as an adjunct astronomer to the French Academy of Sciences. He devoted himself to the improvement of planetary theory, and replaced Delisle as chair of astronomy in the Collège de France in Paris, a position he held for forty-six years. Lalande was also a compiler of navigational and astronomical tables and author of astronomy texts and other books on the history of mathematics and astronomy. Jérôme Lalande died on April 4, 1807.
Mme. Dupiery (born 1746) was an astronomy professor in Paris, France.