19 November 1845|
Belgaum, Karnataka, India
|Died||20 August 1939
Eastbourne, East Sussex, England
Agnes Giberne (19 November 1845, Belgaum, India – 20 August 1939 Eastbourne, England) was a prolific British author who wrote fiction with moral or religious themes for children and also books on astronomy for young people.
Educated by governesses in Europe and England after her father Major Charles Giberne retired from service in India, Agnes Giberne started publishing didactic novels and short stories with improving themes under her initials A.G., some of it for the Religious Tract Society. Later she used her full name for her fiction, for her well-received works on astronomy and the natural world, and for her biography of the children's writer Charlotte Maria Tucker. Most of her writing was done before 1910.
She was an amateur astronomer who worked on the committee setting up the British Astronomical Association and became a founder-member in 1890. Her popular illustrated book Sun, Moon and Stars: Astronomy for Beginners (1879), with a foreword by Oxford Professor of Astronomy, Charles Pritchard, was printed in several editions on both sides of the Atlantic, and sold 24,000 copies in its first 20 years. Later she wrote a book called "Among the Stars" which, as Giberne explains in the Introduction, is a version of "Sun, Moon and Stars" for younger children. It is about a boy called Ikon who is very interested in the stars. He meets a Professor who explains more about the stars and solar system to Ikon. Much of the information is very out of date, but it is an interesting children's book all the same. A pity about the clanger on the book’s outside, front cover illustrating the crescent Moon with two stars appearing in front!
- Young Folks' Library, Volume XI (of 20) by Various at Project Gutenberg
- The Empire Annual for Girls, 1911 by Various at Project Gutenberg
- "GIBERNE, Agnes". Who's Who, 59: p. 672. 1907.
- Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
- Allan Chapman, The Victorian Amateur Astronomer: Independent Astronomical Research in Britain 1820-1920 (John Wiley 1999)