Paris: Cercle-Social, 1796. First. hardcover. 314, ; 312,  pages. 2 volumes bound in 1. Short thick 8vo, rubricated edges, original full mottled calf, ornately gilt spine. Paris: Imprimerie du Cercle-Social, An IV . First edition. Extremely rare. A near fine clean copy. near fine.
"One of the most successful popularizations of science ever composed." -DSB. An accompaniment to the author's lectures on calculus, mechanics, and astronomy. Contains sections on observable astronomical phenomena, real motion of planets, satellites and comets, a summarization of his work in gravitational mechanics, and a survey of the history of astronomy. "An elegant, non-mathematical classic on astronomy. It is in this work that Laplace introduced one of his most notable contributions (although he himself did not take it very seriously at first) -- the so-called nebular hypothesis, which provided a conjectural account of the origin of the solar system," which exercised powerful influence on scientific thought throughout the 19th century. PMM 252.