Synopses & Reviews
Jane Haldimand Marcet (1769-1858) was a pioneer in the field of education who wrote accessible introductory books on science and economics. Noting that women's education 'is seldom calculated to prepare their minds for abstract ideas', she resolved to write books that would inform, entertain and improve a generation of female readers. First published anonymously in 1805, her two-volume Conversations on Chemistry swiftly became a standard primer going through sixteen editions in England alone, and is credited with having influenced the young Michael Faraday. Presented as a series of discussions between a fictional tutor, Mrs. Bryan, and her two female students, the flighty Caroline and earnest Emily, Conversations combines entertaining banter with a clear and concise explanation of scientific theories of the day. Covering topics including heat, light, metals, gases, acids, alkalis, vegetables and animals, it remains a fascinating source for historians of science or education.
Bright, humorous and engaging, Marcet's best-selling 1805 book was designed to introduce women to scientific ideas.
Published anonymously in 1805, this successful and engaging book made complex ideas accessible to a non-technical readership. It is credited with having influenced the young Michael Faraday, and provides valuable insights into the gendered world of nineteenth-century education. Topics discussed include heat, light, metals, gases, vegetables and animals.
Table of Contents
Volume 1: Preface; 1. On the general principles of chemistry; 2. On light and heat; 3. Continuation of the subject; 4. On combined caloric, comprehending specific heat and latent heat; 5. On the chemical agencies of electricity; 6. On oxygen and nitrogen; 7. On hydrogen; 8. On sulphur and phosphorus; 9. On carbon; 10. On metals. Volume 2: 13. On the attraction of composition; 14. On alkalies; 15. On earths; 16. On acids; 17. Of the sulphuric and phosphoric acids; 18. Of the nitric and carbonic acids; 19. Of the boracic, fluoric, muriatic, and oxygenated muriatic acids; 20. On the nature and composition of vegetables; 21. On the decomposition of vegetables; 22. History of vegetation; 23. On the composition of animals; 24. On the animal economy; 25. On animalisations, nutrition, and respiration; 26. On animal heat, and of various animal products; Index.