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Forbes’ pamphlet of 1911 was designed to coach boy scouts though their ‘Starman’s’ badge. It contains a brief introduction by the Scout movement’s founder Leiut-Gen Sir Robert Baden-Powell, recommending it for this purpose.

Although written nearly a century ago, Star Talks still serves and an excellent introduction to astronomy and the impact that the earth’s movement has upon the world around us.

It includes sections on: recognising the main star groups; understanding the motion of the stars; using the stars to tell the time; using the stars and the sun to find directions; and, understanding the movement of the moon and its effect on gravitation and tides. In all Forbes books, his prose is clear and lucid and this is particularly the case in this book. His language has a simple, practical directness that makes initially difficult concepts, surprisingly easy to grasp.

Peter Grego, editor of Popular Astronomy says: ‘Star Talks to Boy Scouts’ is a super little publication! There's nothing in an ‘astronomical’ sense that is out of date. It's all good stuff, and the parts about telling the time by the stars and finding south from the Sun's direction (using an analogue watch rather than a digital one of course!) are very useful, and not often repeated these days.’

The Observatory Press’s republication of Star Talks is entirely faithful to the original, save for the inclusion of a photograph of Forbes and a brief account of the author’s life by Dr James McGrath of Strathclyde University.

To order a copy of Star Talks, send a cheque or postal order for £4.50 to:
The Observatory Press, 151 Rushmore Road, London E5 0HA. The book can also be ordered though bookshops by quoting the ISBN number: 0-954 4436-0-8

A pdf download of Star Talks is avaiable for £1 (payment by cheque of Pay Pal) email your request to

Read the review from The Observatory Magazine. Read the review from Popular Astronomy.
Read the review from St Andrews University Newsletter


Tim Dawson
Telephone: 07984 165251

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