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..


Hartmut Frommert
Christine Kronberg

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