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  • Location: Paris, Pondicherry (India)

An Astronomer in Love

An Astronomer in Love

Why a Booktrail?

1760s, 2000s: An Astronomer to the King and a very special love story.

  • ISBN: B0BWR39ZM7
  • Translator: Louise Rogers Lalaurie, Megan Jones
  • Genre: Adventure

What you need to know before your trail

In 1760, Guillaume le Gentil, real-life astronomer to King Louis XV, sets out for the oceans of India to document the transit of Venus. The weather is turbulent, the seas are rough and his quest may be more complicated than initially thought.

250 years later, estate agent Xavier Lemercier chances upon Guillaume’s telescope in a property he’s sold. As he looks out across the rooftops of Paris, he discovers an intriguing woman with a zebra in her apartment.

Then the woman walks through the doors of his office, and his life changes for

Travel Guide


Oh to be in Paris working as an astronomer for the Academie Royale des Sciences!  The astronomer in this book was a real person and so it makes for such an exciting journey into the past.

Guillaume Joseph Hyacinthe Jean-Baptiste Le Gentil de la Galaisière was a French astronomer who discovered several nebulae. When working for the Academie Royale, he made unsuccessful attempts to observe the 1761 and 1769 transits of Venus from India.


Paris is wonderful in both time lines in this novel. From the very early days of 1760 when we meet the astronomer himself to the present day when his work is found in a Paris appartment, this city breathes excitment and discovery. We visit the Academie, the Eiffel tower (great place to spot Venus apparently) and discover that St Coeur and Notre Dame have always been popuar with pigeons.


The journey by boat to India is fraught with difficulty and danger but it’s wonderful to read of the adventures of such an important venture on the high seas. Alternating chapters take you off the boat and back to modern day Paris so you really get a sense of how the city has changed.

Pondicherry where he ends up, was a French colonial settlement in India until 1954. Its French legacy is preserved in its French Quarter, buildings and atmosphere!


BookTrail Boarding Pass: An Astronomer in Love

Destination/location:Paris  Author/guide: Antoine Laurain Departure Time: 21760s, 2023

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