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The origins of the telescope have been debated since the instrument's appearance in the Hague in 1608. Civic and national pride has led local dignitaries, popular writers, and scholars to present sharply divergent histories over the years, crediting a variety of people and places with the invention. Drawing on newly discovered documents, re-examined records, and tests of early lenses and telescopes, this fascinating study proposes a new and convincing account of the origins of the instrument that changed mankind's vision of the universe.