Eighteenth-Century Fiction journal

Eighteenth-Century Fiction, a McMaster University journal

54 notes

lindahall:

Peter Collinson - Scientist of the Day

Peter Collinson, an English cloth merchant and gardener, died Aug. 11, 1768, at age 74. Collinson is hardly known to the general public, but he played a major role in facilitating the work of others who did become famous. Young Ben Franklin sent Collinson his first papers on electricity, and Collinson had them published by the Royal Society, and he encouraged Franklin to pursue further electrical investigations. Collinson supported the travels of John Bartram in the American colonies, and received in exchange hundreds of packets of seeds, which he distributed to gardeners all over England. Occasionally the traffic went the other way; Collinson sent Bartram some Siberian rhubarb that he had raised; Bartram successfully replanted it, and this was the source for most of the rhubarb that you buy today at the city market.

Collinson was a principal patron of Mark Catesby, who was studying the flora and fauna of the southern colonies, and Collinson lent Catesby the money to publish his Natural History of Carolina (1731-43), a second edition of which we displayed in The Grandeur of Life in 2009. As an example of how interconnected these far-flung naturalists were, Bartram sent Collinson a specimen of a Pennsylvania plant, the Lady’s Slipper, which Collinson planted in his garden and brought to flower. Catesby, who had published volume 1 of his Natural History (thanks to Collinson), saw the flower in Collinson’s garden in 1738, drew it, and then published it in volume 2 of his Natural History. In fact, since there were two varieties, he published it twice, with one plant blooming in front of a black squirrel, and the other hiding behind a wonderful American bullfrog.

Volume 1 and volume 2 of Catesby’s Natural History are available online in our Digital Collections.

Dr. William B. Ashworth, Jr., Consultant for the History of Science, Linda Hall Library and Associate Professor, Department of History, University of Missouri-Kansas City

Wonderful! More digitized wonders of the 18th century.

Filed under 18th-Century Art

31 notes

georgianstyle:

Pamela is Married,  By Joseph Highmore (1744)
 “This painting shows the high point of the first part of Richardson’s novel. Having failed in his attempts to seduce Pamela, Mr B sees the error of his ways and becomes a reformed man. The couple marry in secret in Mr B’s private chapel. On Pamela’s left is her humble but dignified father, who gives her away. In the background, behind Mr B, is the housekeeper Mrs Jewkes, now also a reformed character. She grasps a bottle of smelling salts in case she is overwhelmed with emotion.” 

georgianstyle:

Pamela is Married,  By Joseph Highmore (1744)

“This painting shows the high point of the first part of Richardson’s novel. Having failed in his attempts to seduce Pamela, Mr B sees the error of his ways and becomes a reformed man. The couple marry in secret in Mr B’s private chapel. On Pamela’s left is her humble but dignified father, who gives her away. In the background, behind Mr B, is the housekeeper Mrs Jewkes, now also a reformed character. She grasps a bottle of smelling salts in case she is overwhelmed with emotion.” 

Filed under 18th-Century Art Eighteenth-Century Fiction