Some of my favorite books about the history of Astronomy

 

The Age of Wonder: The Romantic Generation and the Discovery of the Beauty and Terror of Science by Richard Holmes

A sweeping narrative about Western European science in the 18th and 19th Centuries.Places the Herschels in an historical context with the rest of Britain at the time.

 

The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe by Arthur Koestler

A very thorough and detailed book.Itís probably not for the beginner, but it is packed with information about the history of astronomy.

 

Blind Watchers of the Sky: The People and Ideas That Shaped Our View of the Universe by Rocky Kolb

A very readable book about the astronomers of the Renaissance.

 

Seeing and Believing: How the Telescope Opened Our Eyes and Minds to the Heavens by Richard Panek

A short book dealing with three great observational astronomers: Galileo, William Herschel, and Edwin Hubble

 

The Neptune File: A Story of Astronomical Rivalry and the Pioneers of Planet Hunting by Tom Standage

The frustrating tale of John Adams and British Red Tape is heartbreaking, but this is the first book I have found to give proper credit to Johann Galle