'Fontenelle Meditating on the Plurality of Worlds', c 1700.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Print depicting a gentleman accompanied by his dog with an astronomical telescope contemplating on the Moon. Titled 'Fontentelle Meditant sur La Pluraliite des Mondes', the aquatint by Sergent, Paris is dated 1791. Translated, the caption says that Bernard Le Bovier de Fontenelle (1657-1757) is considering the posibility of life on other worlds. A member the French royal academy of sciences, Fontenelle wrote a popular book on the subject, which was translated into English under the title, 'Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds'.