MARY ELIZABETH BARBER, growing wild, the correspondence of a pioneering woman naturalist from the Cape

: Cohen (A.) et al eds.

R 180.00
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303pp., b/w & colour illus., paperback, Basel, 2020


The edited scientific correspondence of Mary Elizabeth Barber (1818-1899).

Born in Britain, Barber arrived in the Cape Colony in 1820. She was the first woman ornithologist in South Africa, an early archaeologist, a botanist and a lepidopterist. In her scientific writing, she propagated a new gender order and at the same time used racist argumentation.

The letters, transcribed by Alan Cohen, are primarily addressed to the entomologist Roland Trimen, then curator of the South African Museum in Cape Town. Today, the letters are housed at the Royal Entomological Society in St Albans.

Also includes an introduction by historian Tanja Hammel who published a monograph on Mary Elizabeth Barber in 2019.