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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.

British flora and the ‘fair daughters of Albion’
Sam George

spheres of botany and floristry (of which the latter art had its origins in Dutch and Flemish culture and at which the French excelled) will be accounted for. The opposition of floristry to botany involved notions of class and nation and the tensions between the general and the particular. The Linnaean revolution in botanical taxonomy involved a shift away from an emphasis on a (flowering) plant’s habitat

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

women that I study. Maria Jacson’s Florist’s Manual (1816), for example, combines systematic botany with instructions on flower gardening for women. This text in particular raises an interesting debate around the tensions between the aesthetic and the scientific and the privileging of botany over floristry. Female botanists often dissociated themselves from the practices of florists and

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

the appearance of the language of flowers which would dominate Victorian flower books for ‘ladies’ later in the nineteenth century. Women were encouraged to move away from floriculture and floristry and to embrace scientific botany and Linnaeus. In the following chapter, I will explore further this opposition of botany to floristry in other works by Jacson, and by Charlotte Smith, who mediate these

in Botany, sexuality and women’s writing 1760–1830
Rebecca Jennings

Press, 1957); Women’s Employment Federation, Careers: A Memorandum on Openings and Trainings for Girls and Women (London: Women’s Employment Federation, 1964). 72 Tomboys and bachelor girls 3 ‘Career or marriage: Advice to women’, The Times (6 August 1949), p. 3. The Schoolgirls’ Exhibition was a week-long careers fair, with stands on nursing, cookery, nursery training and floristry, in addition to the women’s services and secretarial training. 4 Bloom, Me – After the War, p. 1. 5 Penny Tinkler, Constructing Girlhood: Popular Magazines for Girls Growing Up in

in Tomboys and bachelor girls
Abstract only
Doldrums years
Malcolm Chase

tailors, 2 spinners, 2 bootclosers and 2 mechanics. Other textile-related occupations accounted for 4 Dawsons, engineering 3, while book-keeping, floristry, gardening, hawking, ironmoulding, joinery, mining, stonemasonry and school teaching each accounted for one. So too did the trades of brass polisher, glazier, potter, publican and warehouseman. This occupational spectrum is compatible with a systematic national sample of the membership, wherein weavers, then labourers, are the largest groups, followed at some distance by boot and shoemakers, tailors, stocking

in Chartism