From the late 18th to the early 20th century, hundreds of British women wrote about and drew from nature. Some - like the beloved children's author Beatrix Potter, who produced natural history about hedgehogs as well as fiction about rabbits - are still familiar today. But others have all but disappeared from view. Barbara Gates recovers these lost works and prints them alongside little-known pieces by more famous authors, like Potter's field notes on hedgehogs, reminding us of better-known stories that help set the others in context. The works contained in this volume are as varied as the women who produced them. They include passionate essays on the protection of animals, vivid accounts of travel and adventure from the English seashore to the Indian Alps, poetry and fiction, and marvellous tales of nature for children. Special features of the book include a detailed chronology placing each selection in its historical and literary context; biographical sketches of each author's life and works; a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary literature; and over 60 illustrations.
An ideal introduction to women's powerful and diverse responses to the natural world, "In Nature's Name" should be treasured by anyone interested in natural history, women, or Victorian and Edwardian Britain.
Barbara T. Gates is Alumni Distinguished Professor of English and Women's Studies at the University of Delaware. She is the author of Victorian Suicide: Mad Crimes and Sad Histories and Kindred Nature: Victorian and Edwardian Women Embrace the Living World, the latter published by the University of Chicago Press. In 2000, she was awarded the Founders' Distinguished Senior Scholar Award by the American Association of University Women.