Revealing New Worlds : Three Victorian Women Naturalists book cover
1st Edition

Revealing New Worlds
Three Victorian Women Naturalists

ISBN 9780415862981
Published October 23, 2013 by Routledge
272 Pages

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Book Description

The story of nineteenth-century science often tells a tale of a masculinized professionalizing domain. Scientific man increasingly pushed women out, marginalized them and constructed them as naturally feminine creatures incapable of intellectual work, particularly scientific work. Yet many women participated in various scientific endeavours throughout the century. This work asks why, when the waters were so inviting, did women dive deeply into the swirling maelstrom of scientific practice, scientific controversies and scientific writing? Victorian women certainly recognised that male naturalists were not always willing to welcome them warmly into their inner sanctum of scientific work honour and prestige. Moreover, they recognised the existence of a more general social stigma that thwarted any woman's participation in intellectual endeavours. However, their fascination with algology, botany and entomology led Margaret Gatty, Marianne North and Eleanor Ormerod to reach beyond acceptable gendered roles, to undertake field work, to paint, write, popularize, experiment and discover. Each exhibited a passion for their chosen field, a need for intellectual, artistic and scientific work, and a desire for scientific recognition and renown. This book examines the ability of women to understand themselves and respond to their needs as complex human beings. Within a framework of socially and scientifically constructed norms, these Victorial women use d science as a path to self-awareness and intellectual accomplishment.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations Acknowledgements Introduction Section I - Margaret Gatty (1809-1873) Chapter 1. For the Love of Seaweeds: 'Mrs Alfred Gatty' and Woman's Place in Science Chapter 2. 'Monarch of All She Surveys': Margaret Gatty's Career as a Naturalist. Section II - Marianne North (1830-1873) Chapter 3. Finding a New Life: Mariane North as Daughter, Patron and Traveller Chapter 4. Painting Outside the Lines: Mariane North's Botanical Art. Section III - Eleanor Anne Ormerod (1828-1901) Chapter 5. 'A Lady Entomologist': Eleanor Anne Ormerod and the Politics of Gender in Science Chapter 6. 'Not Wholly Separate': Eleanor Anne Ormerod as Popularizer and Professional Entomologist Chapter 7. Re-Imaging Victorian Women Naturalists Conclusion^lBibliography

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Suzanne Le-May Sheffield


'Suzanne Le-May Sheffield has done a fine job of recreating the diverse circumstances of these three remarkable women, overturning the assumption that Victorian women were helpless in the face of the roles that men had in mind for them, without ever denying that they were oppressed' - A Passion for Seaweed, Jim Endersby