BOTANY, SEXUALITY AND WOMEN'S WRITING, 1760-1830
From Modest Shoot to Forward Plant

SAMANTHA GEORGE
288pp 16 ILLUS 2007 LIST PRICE: £55.00 N083

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Description
The author here uncovers and presents extraordinary primary texts unique to eighteenth-century Britain, previously ignored by scientists because of their dialogic, poetic or epistolary format and overlooked by literary scholars because of their scientific content. This pioneering study traces the development of a new genre of women's writing - the botanical poem with scientific notes - and introduces newly discovered writers (Cordelia Skeeles, Frances Arabella Rowden, Lady Charlotte Murray and Maria Jacson) to the field of eighteenth-century studies. It sees these remarkable texts in dialogue with the writings of such key figures as Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Erasmus Darwin and Mary Wollstonecraft and engages with popular and provoking debates on sexuality, as women's study of the modern sexual system of botany was perceived to threaten female modesty. The book thus charts the appearance of a new literary stereotype: the sexually precocious female botanist!