Mary Somerville: Science, Illumination, and the Female Mind by Kathryn A. NeeleyMary Somerville: Science, Illumination, and the Female Mind by Kathryn A. Neeley

Mary Somerville: Science, Illumination, and the Female Mind

byKathryn A. Neeley

Paperback | October 22, 2001

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In an era when science was perceived as a male domain, Mary Somerville (1780-1872) became both the leading woman scientist of her day and an integral part of the British scientific community. Her scientific writings contributed to one of the most important cultural projects of Victorian Britain: establishing science as a distinct, integral, and unifying element of culture. By the time of her death, Somerville had achieved near-mythic status in Britain. Her works reflect both the power of science to capture imagination and the influence of cultural factors in the development of science. They provide a window into a particularly lucid and illuminated mind and into one of the most formative periods in the evolution of modern scientific culture. This retelling of Somerville's story focuses on the factors that allowed her to become an eminent scientist and argues for rethinking the story of women's participation in science.
David Knight is a writer. He lives in Colorado.
Title:Mary Somerville: Science, Illumination, and the Female MindFormat:PaperbackPublished:October 22, 2001Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521626722

ISBN - 13:9780521626729


Table of Contents

Author's preface; Prologue; Perceiving what others do not perceive: the 'peculiar illumination' of the female mind; 1. Head among the stars, feet firm upon the earth: the problem of categorizing Mary Somerville; 2. Creating a room of her own in the world of science: how Mary Fairfax became the famous Mrs Somerville; 3. Science as exact calculation and elevated meditation: Mechanism of the Heavens (1931), Preliminary Dissertation (1832), and On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1834); 4. The earth, the sea, the air, and their inhabitants: Physical Geography (1848) and On Molecular and Microscopic Science (1869); 5. Personal Recollections (1973): Mary Somerville on Mary Somerville; 6. Memory and Mary Somerville: in the public eye and historical memory; Epilogue: science, voice, and vision.

Editorial Reviews

"Neeley...contributes to the recent wealth of work on science writing, an integration of gender studies and science-in-culture. ...Neeley's historiographical analysis of the changing strategies and roles for women in science over the course of Somerville's long life (1780-1872) deserves to be read by any serious scholar of nineteenth-century science or women's history." Isis