V. Corbett Wright


Navigation by the Stars on Land - Parts 1 and 2, Bombay 1944





V. Corbett Wright


Navigation by the Stars on Land - Parts 1 and 2, Bombay 1944





Il saggio di V. Corbett-Wright, pubblicato a Bombay nel 1944, rarissimo e lo presento attraverso un articolo pubblicato su "Facebook" il 15 aprile 2023 da Bob McNaught riportandone di seguito testi e immagini senza alcuna modifica.







This is

V. Corbett-Wright's Navigation by the Stars on Land - Parts 1 and 2, Bombay: C. Murphy for Thacker and Co., Ltd, 1944.


 Each volume boasts 2 endpaper planispheres - 2 with strings, and 8 loose overlays in two pockets, such that the planispheres can be made useful at different latitudes (i.e. 4 planispheres, 16 overlays in total).

There's a folding plate printed in yellow and black on both sides and copious illustrations. Also, of especial interest to me, 12 original monthly planispheres in white on black, and many further maps.


Finally, the elaborate rotating card planisphere is supported by cotton strings, with central strings for more exact calculation, and brass studs to hold it all together. The planisphere appears to have been issued with the book as the title page of volume 2 advertises spare copies for 7 Rupees and 8 Annas, along with other useful tools such as his "Wood Sextant" which can be seen described on one of the photos.


The author writes: "The books (Parts I and II) represent a good portion of my spare time during the last two years (very often into the early hours) but if the work helps but a few to find their way, with confidence, across country during the hours of darkness, I will be more than repaid. It would have appeared earlier had not the best part of the draft and notes, including designs, been in a suit case stolen from a railway carriage last year."


Corbett-Wright was a member of the Cavalry Group of the Bombay Light Patrol A.F.(I). He was given the job of teaching "navigation by the stars" to the men and subsequently produced this excellent work in his spare time. I found out very little about him beyond his presence at posh dinners in Bombay.


The illustrations are by L. Rajaram, a young Hindu artist, who V. C-W credits with much patience and skill despite no knowledge of English.

This work appears to be terribly rare with no copies listed in WorldCat, LibraryHub or the BL, and no hits at all on the internet for the title. I even started to check libraries in Mumbai, but that was perhaps a bit much! It is certainly an exceptional piece; I've never seen anything as elaborate as this before.