Search results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 28 items for :

  • "Carl Linnaeus" x
  • Refine by access: All content x
Clear All
From modest shoot to forward plant
Author: Sam George

The stereotype of the forward, sexually precocious female botanist made its first appearance in literature in the turbulent revolutionary climate of the 1790s. The emergence of this figure illustrates both the contemporary appeal, particularly to women, of the Linnaean Sexual System of botanical classification, and the anxieties surrounding female modesty that it provoked. This book explores the cultivation of the female mind and the feminised discourse of botanical literature in eighteenth-century Britain. In particular, it discusses British women's engagement with the Swedish botanist, Carl Linnaeus, and his unsettling discovery of plant sexuality. The book also explores nationality and sexuality debates in relation to botany and charts the appearance of a new literary stereotype, the sexually precocious female botanist. It investigates the cultivation of the female mind and its implications for the theories of the feminised discourse of botanical literature. The book also investigates a process of feminisation of botany in Jean-Jacques Rousseau's and Priscilla Wakefield's letters on botany; these were literary and educational texts addressed specifically to women. Linnaean classification exemplified order, making botany an ideal discipline for young British women in the eighteenth century. Erasmus Darwin's explicit discussion of sexuality related to the aura of illicit sexuality that had surrounded Sir Joseph Banks. Richard Polwhele appropriates Collinsonia's image of the promiscuous female to allude to Mary Wollstonecraft's sexuality, drawing on forward plants in Darwin and Thomas Mathias. The book finally looks at early nineteenth-century debates and demonstrates how scientific botany came into conflict with the craft of floristry.

Sam George

demonstrate the hierarchical, military imagery: birds are ‘cavalry, light nimble, resplendently clad’ and amphibians ‘an ugly horrible, naked pack on foot’ (Carl Linnaeus, trans. Alan Blair (London: Jonathan Cape, 1952), p. 151). Linnaeus suffered a stroke in 1774 and his health continued to fail until his death in 1778. Delivered in December 1772, this oration was one of the

in Botany, sexuality and women’s writing 1760–1830
Botany and the feminine
Sam George

innocence; this was dramatically disturbed when the Swedish botanist and classifier of all living things, Carl Linnaeus, focused on the flower in botanical research in order to detail the sexuality of plants by offering precise descriptions of their organs of generation. Linnaeus insisted that the classification of plants must be based on the fructification as comprising the flower and fruit together

in Botany, sexuality and women’s writing 1760–1830
Botany and sexual anxiety in the late eighteenth century
Sam George

This chapter explores all of the poems in relation to Erasmus Darwin, beginning with a detailed look at Darwin's Loves of the Plants. The controversy surrounding this work changed the course of women's botany in England and ushered in a new, less enlightened age, dominated by works on 'ladies' botany' which rejected Carl Linnaeus's Sexual System for a 'natural system' of classification. Given the supposition that Flora was originally a common courtesan, the coupling of Flora and Linnaeus alludes to wanton sexuality in the vegetable kingdom. Darwin's Botanic Garden was extremely influential in popularising botany as a female pursuit; as already noted, it held a particular fascination for women. The Botanic Garden was considered to be a hotbed for forward plants because it combined botany with liberal politics.

in Botany, sexuality and women’s writing 1760–1830
Abstract only
Sam George

The unique blend of science and literature, poetry and microscopy, which characterised women's botany in the Enlightenment, was missing from the Victorian flower books which superseded them. Elizabeth Kent's Flora Domestica kept botanical description to a minimum, preferring to mythologise plants and anthologise romantic verses on flowers. In Rebecca Hey's The Moral of Flowers and Louisa Anne Twamley's Flora's Gems, a sentimental and purely arbitrary language of flowers replaced the language of Carl Linnaeus which Jean-Jacques Rousseau had insisted was as necessary to botanists as algebra was to mathematicians. A bifurcation of botany had occurred whereby women's botany had become increasingly 'feminine' and ornamental and its serious scientific component had become more exclusively 'masculine' work. Botanical texts which retained something of the familiar format, Harriet Beaufort's Dialogues on Botany and Elizabeth and Sarah Fitton's Conversations on Botany, for example, became increasingly didactic.

in Botany, sexuality and women’s writing 1760–1830
Abstract only
Sam George

(1807) which includes work by relatively unknown poets such as Cordelia Skeeles, all of who are important to this study. Janet Browne, Alan Bewell, Londa Schiebinger and Tim Fulford have all explored botany’s role in the sexual politics of the 1790s. 23 However, these works have centred upon Erasmus Darwin, Carl Linnaeus, and Joseph Banks. I explore important new territory in investigating how female

in Botany, sexuality and women’s writing 1760–1830
Abstract only
Emma Gleadhill

The eighteenth century was marked by the spread of Enlightenment classificatory schemas. These included the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus's Systema Naturae ( 1735 , a taxonomy designed to classify all the plant forms on the planet, known or unknown, according to their reproductive organs) and Denis Diderot and Jean le Rond d’Alembert's Encyclopédie ( 1751–66 , seventeen engraved folio volumes intended to gather all the knowledge in the world). 1 Informed by the totalising view of nature

in Taking travel home
Patrick Browne (c.1720–90), an Irish botanist and physician in the West Indies
Marc Caball

Patrick Browne was a significant figure among scholars of botany and tropical medicine in the eighteenth century. Born in Co. Mayo around the year 1720, Browne’s publication in 1756 of The civil and natural history of Jamaica was important contemporaneously in terms of the development of botanical nomenclature and the discovery of plants previously unknown to European experts. Although his original contribution to the science of botany was recognised by his better known peer, the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus

in Early Modern Ireland and the world of medicine
Voyages through empirical, common sense
Florence D’Souza

, while between 1804 and 1808, Governor-General Wellesley started an ‘Institution for promoting the Natural History of India’ at Barrackpur near Calcutta, with a menagerie and an aviary. 61 The two methods in use during this period for naming and classifying plants were Linnaeus’s system and Jussieu’s system. The method of Carl Linnaeus (1707–78) consisted of binomial nomenclature, using the flower and

in Knowledge, mediation and empire
Abstract only
Angela Stienne

and then spread internationally. What were the criteria for racial distinction? Did all European thinkers agree about them? And what were the implications for the study of the ancient Egyptians? These questions were addressed by Europe’s leading natural scientists and cultural philosophers, including Carl Linnaeus, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, and Johann Friedrich Blumenbach

in Mummified