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A Victorian Marriage : Sir William Rowan Hamilton. Read the essay in BookReader

Background information, the essay in pdf and epub version, and further publications

People featuring in Hamilton’s biography


Emile Domis (1942-2002),
to whom I dedicated my essay.

Nederlandse samenvatting van
A Victorian Marriage : Sir William Rowan Hamilton

For an English summary of the essay see our ‘gossip article’,
A most gossiped about genius: Sir William Rowan Hamilton

The Hamilton children

William Edwin, Archibald Henry and Helen Eliza Amelia
as depicted on p. 17 of the essay. See for the descriptions, the
suggestion that the boy on the first row is most likely William
Edwin, and where the photographs came from, pp. 18-24.

Lady Hamilton

Lady Hamilton
This is the larger picture as reproduced from Wayman’s 1987 book about Dunsink Observatory.
Lady Hamilton was said to have been fashionable rather than intellectual, and her fashionability
seems to show in this photograph. Unusual for pictures from those times is her faint smile;
she looks as if she found being photographed rather funny.

Dunsink Observatory

Dunsink Observatory and the South Dome by Sir Robert Ball, one of Hamilton’s successors
Reproduced from The book of Trinity College, Dublin, 1591-1891.
Belfast: Marcus Ward & CO., Limited.
A date is not given but the South Dome, which can be seen on the left, was built in 1865,
while the book was published in 1892. The light, which in Hamilton’s time would have
come from candles and fires in the fireplaces, streaming through the windows beautifully
indicates the atmosphere within the Observatory and on the premises as it must have
looked like when the Hamiltons were at home and still awake; Hamilton working on his
mathematics or talking with his family, and Thompson observing in the dome.
The soft light shining from the left on the lawn, and on the left side of the Observatory,
its south side, seems to indicate moonlight, probably even a full moon.