By Elizabeth Chambers Patterson (auth.)

Among the myriad of adjustments that came about in nice Britain within the first half the 19th century, lots of specific value to the historian of technology and to the social historian are discernible in that small phase of British society drawn jointly by means of a shared curiosity in usual phenomena and with adequate relaxation or chance to enquire and think about them. This staff, which by no means numbered greater than an insignificant handful compared to the complete inhabitants, could rightly be characterised as 'scientific'. They and their successors got here to occupy an more and more vital position within the highbrow, academic, and constructing financial lifetime of the state. good earlier than the arriving of mid-century, ordinary philosophers and inventors have been often hailed as a resource of nationwide satisfaction and of nationwide status. medical society is a characteristic of nineteenth-century British lifestyles, the easiest being present in London, within the universities, in Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in a couple of scattered provincial centres.

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Extra resources for Mary Somerville and the Cultivation of Science, 1815–1840

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Somerville soon established a numerous practice among the English colony, the Somervilles made several friends who would figure in their future lives. Among them was young Captain Roderick Impey Murchison and his wife Charlotte. Despairing of further advancement after Waterloo, Murchison, newly married, had retired from the army and was now passing his time in travel and other light pursuits. Of him Mary Somerville wrote: ... At that time he hardly knew one stone from another. He had been a cavalry officer in the Peninsular War, was an excellent horseman and like other young men of his rank and age a keen fox hunter.

For a few weeks in the summer of the same year'. 33 Mrs. Somerville's only note about the evening reads, 'Conversations about Meridian'. 34 Only one of the two visits the Somervilles made to Arcueil is described in these notes: 5th. Dined at Arcueil with M. LaPlace. party M & Mme Arago, M & Mme Bertholet and several Gent n entertainment very handsome. M LaPlace said with regard to the Mech. eel. it is probable that improvements may be made in analysis and that methods may be found to make the series converge whether the inclination of the planes of the orbits of the planets be great or small but at all events the work would remain a beau monument de l'esprit humain [sic].

1818), who had been made a professor there by Napoleon. This great crystallographer, Mrs. Somerville noted, ... took much pains to make our visit interesting, explained the plan of his work, shewed us models in wood for the illustration of his Theory, and likewise many drawers of minerals ... [and after exhibiting and explaining a number of specimens] gave us a few crystals of quartz and a copy of his traite [sic] de - - to Somerville. 7 The title which Mrs. Somerville omitted - one has the impression reading the diary that she expected to fill in the blanks later - may well have been Hauy's Traite des Pierres Precieuses published in 1817.

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