Enfilade

Exhibition | Tables of Power: A History of Prestigious Meals

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on June 13, 2021

Jacques Roëttiers, Ornamental Centerpiece, Surtout de table, 1736 (Paris: Musée du Louvre). Additional information and exceptional details are available here.

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Comprised of five sections, the exhibition traces the history of elite dining conventions from ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt to the present. The fourth section focuses on eighteenth-century France.

Les tables du pouvoir: Une histoire des repas de prestige
Musée du Louvre-Lens, 19 May — 26 July 2021

Organized by Zeev Gourarier with Michèle Bimbenet-Privat, Hélène Bouillon, Alexandre Estaquet-Legrand, Christine Germain-Donnat, and Marie Lavandier

Chapitre 4 : du service à la française au service à la russe

Le 18e inaugure de nouvelles manières d’envisager les plaisirs de la table. La forme trop protocolaire du Grand Couvert laisse si peu de place à la convivialité que, pour y échapper, on invente au sein des « petits appartements » à Versailles et dans les résidences privées du roi, la salle à manger puis la table à manger, de forme ronde. Dans le cadre des Soupers fins, on peut alors s’adonner en toute liberté et en bonne compagnie aux plaisirs d’une gastronomie en pleine effervescence. Le service offert par l’Impératrice Marie-Thérèse d’Autriche à Madame Geoffrin, qui tient l’un des plus célèbres salons artistiques et littéraires parisiens d’alors, rappelle l’atmosphère raffinée des repas consommés dans les toutes premières salles à manger au temps des Lumières.

À partir de 1740, la fabrique de Vincennes—transférée à Sèvres en 1756—met au point un procédé complexe de double cuisson qui permet d’obtenir une pâte onctueuse et translucide, la porcelaine tendre. L’exposition présente l’un des premiers services de table réalisés, à fond bleu céleste et décor de fleurs, offert à Louis XV. Ces pièces exceptionnelles font la renommée de la France dans toute l’Europe et créent une véritable diplomatie des services de Sèvres, abondamment offerts en cadeaux par le roi. Dès son instauration en 1804, le Premier Empire en devient un commanditaire majeur. Le Service Olympique fait partie des premiers services en porcelaine livrés à Napoléon. Il décore la table de fête au palais des Tuileries à l’occasion du mariage de son frère, Jérôme Bonaparte. La table du Cardinal Fesch, oncle de Napoléon, se déploie également au milieu du parcours. Sur un fond bleu lapis, imitant la pierre dure, le décor de portraits d’empereurs antiques à la manière des camées est un hommage subtil à Napoléon lui-même, qui lui offre ce service.

Au gré des régimes, la Manufacture de Sèvres habille les tables du pouvoir. À l’instar de la Présidence de la République, les ministères d’État disposent de leur propre vaisselle, passant commande aujourd’hui encore. Une table en miroir fait ainsi dialoguer le service des Départements (19e siècle) et son décor floral, au service Diane du ministère de la Culture, conçu vers 1960 et dont le décor est renouvelé en 2007 par l’artiste Fabrice Hyber.

À sa création à la fin du 18e siècle, la manufacture royale du Danemark rejoint la prestigieuse compétition que se livrent les différentes manufactures de porcelaine d’Europe. Elle réalise l’un des plus surprenants et opulents services de table de cette époque, le Flora Danica. Composé de plus de 1800 pièces à l’origine, il aurait été initialement destiné à l’impératrice de Russie Catherine II, grande amatrice de porcelaine, mais n’est jamais livré. Les motifs s’inspirent directement des planches illustrées du Flora Danica (« Flore du Danemark »), et forment comme un grand atlas botanique, avec plantes, champignons et autres lichens. Le service est aujourd’hui encore utilisé à la cour du Danemark lors des grandes occasions.

Dans le cadre de la pièce désormais réservée aux repas, la salle à manger, l’ordonnance du repas continue d’évoluer pour aboutir en un siècle à notre service actuel, dit « service à la russe ». Ce nouveau dispositif témoigne des transformations des modes de vie et de la culture alimentaire au début du 19e siècle. Il implique un nouvel ordonnancement des mets. Les plats ne sont plus présentés de manière harmonieuse et foisonnante en services successifs, mais sont désormais servis individuellement, simultanément à tous les convives. Ces dispositions permettent notamment à tous de manger chaud et réduisent le nombre de domestiques autour de la table. Les verres se multiplient et ne sont plus disposés sur des dessertes mais sur la table, et les couverts individuels s’alignent autour de l’assiette—tels que nous les connaissons aujourd’hui.

Zeev Gourarier, ed., Les tables du pouvoir: Une histoire des repas de prestige (Paris: Réunion des musées nationaux, 2021), 320 pages, ISBN: 978-2711878635, 40€.

A list of contents is available here»

New Book | Visualising Protestant Monarchy

Posted in books by Editor on June 8, 2021

From Boydell and Brewer:

Julie Farguson, Visualising Protestant Monarchy: Ceremony, Art, and Politics after the Glorious Revolution, 1689–1714 (London: Boydell Press, 2021), 402 pages, ISBN: 978-1783275441 (hardcover), £75 / $99 and ISBN: 978-1787448179 (ebook) £20 / $25.

The first comprehensive, comparative study of the visual culture of monarchy in the reigns of William and Mary and Queen Anne

This book provides the first comprehensive, comparative study of the visual culture of monarchy in the reigns of William and Mary and Queen Anne. It makes innovative use of material evidence and new primary sources to re-evaluatethe practice of kingship and queenship to produce an original interpretation of the British monarchy during a period of vital transformation. The quarter century between the Glorious Revolution and the Georgian era witnessed prolonged military conflict with France and the birth of what we now call Great Britain. This book argues that a new style of monarchy likewise emerged in this period and that its survival largely depended on the efforts of the royal family: two English queens, a Dutch king, and a Danish prince.

Through a study of art and material culture (paintings, prints, the decorative arts, architecture, dress, and royal insignia) within the broader political context, the book explores how the English people were persuaded to transfer their loyalties from a traditional style of kingship, centred on ideas of divinely appointed rule and hereditary right, to one rooted in Protestantism and Parliament. The book argues that both ceremony and art played a vital role in the way the monarchy functioned after the Glorious Revolution. Crucially, it examines not only the production of images and use of ceremony but also the ways in which they were received by audiences, both in England and abroad. The book sets the on-going changes in the ideology of British monarchy within the wider context of royal politicking in Europe and pays close attention to gender and the practice of queenship as well as the ways in which military conflict shaped royal representational culture. Using a method that is centred on the visual—ceremonies and art—and on visuality, the study makes an original and important contribution to our understanding not only of the monarchy but also the political culture of the post-Glorious Revolution era.

Julie Farguson is College Lecturer in History at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.

C O N T E N T S

Introduction
• Establishing an Anglo-Dutch Royal Image, 1689–90: The Beginning of Stuart-Orange Kingship
• Anglo-Dutch Kingship and War, 1690–94: The Stuart-Orange Partnership in Action
• The Royal Image, 1695–1702: From Stuart Monarch to Orange King
• Transforming the Royal Image, 1702: Establishing Stuart-Oldenburg Kingship
• Military Affiliations, 1702–08: Stuart-Oldenburg Kingship and War
• The Royal Image, 1709–14: The Rise of Anna Augusta
Conclusion

Bibliography

 

New Book | Pots, Prints, and Politics

Posted in books by Editor on June 7, 2021

From Oxbow Books:

Patricia Ferguson, ed., Pots, Prints, and Politics: Ceramics with an Agenda, from the 14th to the 20th Century (London: The British Museum Press, 2021), 196 pages, ISBN: 978-0861592296, £40 / $80.

In this lavishly illustrated publication, 15 leading scholars challenge and interrogate a mixture of Asian and European ceramic objects—from teapots to chamber pots—bringing to light new meanings and agendas that are just as provocative now, as when they were made. The medium behind these messages are graphic sources. From Chinese woodblock prints to Japanese kyōka surimono (‘printed things’), and European copperplate engravings to chromolithographs, prints circulated ideas. Potters across time and cultures adapted these images into ceramic bodies or covered their surfaces with hand-painted or transfer-printed representations, giving expression to serious political and social issues: propaganda, self-promotion, piety, race, gender, national, and regional identities. Driven by commercial gain, altruism or imperial dictate, ceramic artists and manufacturers often risked their livelihoods, if not their lives, articulating their convictions.

The authors in this volume have explored these narratives on a variety of wares employing the British Museum’s world-renowned print collection as a base, as well as studying visual culture for material references. Pots, Prints and Politics invites us to look at ceramics as social objects, deciphering their many critical debates masquerading as mere ornament.

This publication has been generously supported by Ceramica-Stiftung Basel.

Patricia F. Ferguson was Project Curator in the Britain, Europe and Prehistory Department at the British Museum from 2017 until 2020, focusing on European ceramics and print sources. Between 2006 and 2017, she was a consulting curator in the Asian and Ceramics Departments of the Victoria and Albert Museum. As Honorary Adviser on Ceramics to the National Trust, she published Ceramics: 400 Years of British Collecting in 100 Masterpieces (2016) and Garnitures: Vase Sets from National Trust Houses (2016).

C O N T E N T S

Introduction, Patricia Ferguson

1  Luk Yu-ping (The British Museum), Pots, Prints, and Politics in China? Some Examples from the 14th to 17th Centuries
2  Elaine Buck (SOAS), A 14th-Century Longquan Pot with a Dual Purpose
3  Wenyuan Xin (The British Museum), Illustrated Hagiographies and Figure Production in Late Ming Fujian
4  Dora Thornton (Curator, Goldsmith’s Company), ‘Take Note’: The Construction of Political Allegories of the Sack of Rome (1527) on Italian Renaissance Maiolica in the British Museum
5  Elisa Paola Sani (The Courtauld Gallery), War on a Plate: The Battle of Mühlberg on a Maiolica Dish at the Wallace Collection, London
6  Claire Blakey (Burrell Collection) and Rachel King (British Museum), Prints and Post-Palissian Ceramics
7  Helen Glaister (Victoria and Albert Museum), Exotic Self-Reflections: Fashioning Chinese Porcelain for European Eyes
8  Catrin Jones (V&A Wedgwood Collection), ‘Aux plaisirs des dames’: Designing and Redesigning a Meissen Bourdalone
9  Patricia Ferguson (Hon. Adviser on Ceramics, The National Trust), Myth and Materiality: Admiral Anson’s Chinese Armorial Dinner Service at Shugborough Hall, Staffordshire
10  Alessandro Biancalana (Independent art historian and author), From stampa and riporto to giochi di bambini: Transfer Printing and Iconographic Sources at Carlo Ginori’s Porcelain Manufactory at Doccia
11  Sheila O’Connell (The British Museum), Jefferyes Hamett O’Neale (act. 1750–1801): Porcelain Painter and Print Designer
12  Caroline McCaffrey-Howarth (Victorian and Albert Museum), Propaganda on Pots: ‘King Louis’s Last Interview with his Family’ on a Creamware Mug, 1793–95
13  Mary Redfern (Chester Beatty Library), Pots for Poets: Ceramics Up-Close in Japanese Prints, Including Hokusai’s Everything Concerning Horses
14  Ronald W. Fuchs II (Reeves Center, Washington and Lee University) and Patricia Ferguson (Hon. Adviser on Ceramics, The National Trust), ‘Remember them that are in Bonds’: A Plate Made for the Abolition Movement
15  Mary Ginsberg (The British Museum), Appropriated Heroes: Prints, Pots, and Political Symbols in Revolutionary China

Bibliography

Print Quarterly, June 2021

Posted in books, exhibitions, journal articles, reviews by Editor on June 5, 2021

The eighteenth century in the latest issue of Print Quarterly:

Print Quarterly 38.2 (June 2021)

Jeanne-Elisabeth Chaudet, Portrait of a Young Girl, traditionally Identified as Madame Villot, née Barbier, Carrying Her Father’s Sabre, oil on canvas, likely shown at the Salon in 1817 (Private Collection).

A R T I C L E S

Claire Brisby, “Orthodox Prints in the Samokov Painter’s Archive”

Addressing the distinctive category of religious prints produced for the Orthodox Christian market from 1698 to 1864, Brisby’s article focuses on prints that once formed the image archive of the painter Christo Dimitrov and his son and other family members in Samokov, Bulgaria—prints that have received limited scholarly attention. The article discusses various sites of print production and explores the use of prints in workshops as models for frescoes and paintings.

N O T E S

F. Carlo Schmid, “Prints after the Antique up to 1869”

The exhibition catalogue Phönix aus der Asche: Bildwerdung der Antike – Druckgrafiken bis 1869 / L’Araba Fenice: L’Antico Visualizzato nella Grafica a Stampa fino al 1869, reviewed here by F. Carlo Schmid, explores the development of printed images concerning architecture, sculpture, and objects of everyday life of classical antiquity. The prints date from the fifteenth to the second half of the nineteenth century and relate to works from, but not limited to, Egypt, Greece, and the Roman Empire. Of particular interest to eighteenth-century scholars, Schmid highlights that the original project out of which the exhibition and catalogue grew concerned Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli as a “space of artistic interaction” in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Adamo Scultori (Ghisi), Young Prisoner, 1566–80, engraving.

Francisco J. R. Chaparro, “Spanish Drawing Books”

A note on the exhibition catalogue El Maestro de Papel reviewed here by Francisco J. R. Chaparro, presents a comprehensive review of the scholarly attention directed towards Spanish drawing books. Chaparro makes reference to the Matías de Irala 1731 work and mentions the poor survival of the books. Chaparro tracks the appearance and reappearance of Jusepe Ribera’s etchings dated 1622 to highlight the further issue of cross-reference in these works. The note provides a critique of the exhibition while firmly situating it as a cornerstone for further research on the field of Spanish prints and drawings.

Ellis Tinios, “Surimono from the Virginia Shawan Drosten and Patrick Kenadjian Collection”

A laudatory note by Ellis Tinios on the catalogue The Private World of Surimino presents a brief analysis of surimono prints and notes, for instance, the importance of adequate lighting in revealing the complexities of blind printing and reflective inks.

David Ekserdijan, “A Portrait by Jeanne-Elisabeth Chaudet and Its Source”

David Ekserdijan presents the unusual artistic inspiration behind Jeanne-Elisabeth Chaudet’s painting A Portrait of a Young Girl of 1817, which sold in a 2006 Sotheby’s auction. The note features a side-by-side comparison with Adamo Scultori’s Young Prisoner or An Allegory of Servitude of 1566–80.

 

New Book | Dandy Style

Posted in books, catalogues, exhibitions by Editor on May 31, 2021

The related exhibition is scheduled to open later at the Manchester Art Gallery, but the publication, from Yale UP, is available now:

Shaun Cole and Miles Lambert, Dandy Style: 250 Years of British Men’s Fashion (New Have: Yale University Press, 2021), 168 pages, ISBN: 978-0300254136, $35.

Celebrating 250 years of male self-expression, investigating the portraiture and wardrobe of the fashionable British man

The style of the dandy is elegant but bold—dedicated to the perfection of taste. This meticulously choreographed look has a vibrant history; the legacy of Beau Brummell, the original dandy of Regency England, can be traced in the clothing of urban dandies today. Dandy Style celebrates 250 years of male self-expression, investigating the portraiture and wardrobe of the fashionable British man. Combining fashion, art, and photography, the historic and the contemporary, the provocative and the respectable, it considers key themes in the development of male style and identity, including elegance, uniformity, and spectacle. Various types of dandy are represented by iconic figures such as Oscar Wilde, Edward VIII as Prince of Wales, and Gilbert & George. They appear alongside the seminal designs of Vivienne Westwood, Ozwald Boateng, and Alexander McQueen; and portraits by Thomas Gainsborough and David Hockney.

Shaun Cole is associate professor in fashion at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. Miles Lambert is curator of costume at Manchester Art Gallery.

C O N T E N T S

Christopher Breward — Foreword: Dandy Style
Alistair Hudson — Director’s Preface

Shaun Cole and Miles Lambert — Introduction
1  Miles Lambert — Creative Collecting: How Museums Acquire Men’s Fashion
2  Ben Whyman — The Life Stories of Men’s Clothes
3  Joshua M. Bluteau — The Devil Is in the Detail: Why Men Still Wear Suits
4  Shaun Cole, Miles Lambert, and Rebecca Milner — Painting Men’s Style: Portraying an Image
5  Kate Dorney — Performing the Dandy
6  Miles Lambert — Extravagance and Flamboyance: Decorated Men’s Fashion
7  Shaun Cole — Casual Subversion
8  Jay McCauley Bowstead — Contemporary British Menswear: Hybridity, Flux, and Globalisation

Notes
Select Bibliography
Index
Acknowledgments
List of Contributors

New Book | Material Lives: Women Makers and Consumer Culture

Posted in books by Editor on May 30, 2021

From Bloomsbury:

Serena Dyer, Material Lives: Women Makers and Consumer Culture in the 18th Century (London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2021), 272 pages, ISBN: 978-1350126978 (hardcover), £80 / ISBN: 978-1350126961 (paperback), £27.

Eighteenth-century women told their life stories through making. With its compelling stories of women’s material experiences and practices, Material Lives offers a new perspective on eighteenth-century production and consumption. Genteel women’s making has traditionally been seen as decorative, trivial and superficial. Yet their material archives, forged through fabric samples, watercolours, dressed prints and dolls’ garments, reveal how women used the material culture of making to record and navigate their lives.

Material Lives positions women as ‘makers’ in a consumer society. Through fragments of fabric and paper, Dyer explores an innovative way of accessing the lives of otherwise obscured women. For researchers and students of material culture, dress history, consumption, gender and women’s history, it offers a rich resource to illuminate the power of needles, paintbrushes and scissors.

Serena Dyer is Lecturer in History of Design and Material Culture at De Montfort University. She has taught at the University of Warwick and the University of Hertfordshire, and was Postdoctoral Fellow at the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art. She was previously Curator of the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture. She has published on albums, wallpaper, consumer culture, and childhood in the eighteenth century.

C O N T E N T S

List of Illustrations
List of Charts and Tables
Acknowledgements
List of Abbreviations

1  Introduction: Making Material Lives
• Material Life Writing
• The Consumer Culture of Making
• Four Material Lives

2  Material Accounting: A Sartorial Account Book
• Barbara Johnson (1738–1825)
• Educating Barbara Johnson
• Accounting for Herself
• Material Literacy
• A Chronicle of Fashion

3  Dress of the Year: Watercolours
• Ann Frankland Lewis (1757–1842)
• Sartorial Timekeeping and the Fashion Plate
• Accomplishment and Creative Practice
• Society and Fashionable Display
• Selfhood, Emotion, and the Mourning Watercolours

4  Adorned in Silk: Dressed Prints
• Sabine Winn (1734–1798)
• Paper Textiles, Dress and the Dressed Print
• Sabine Winn’s Dressed Prints
• Print and Making at Nostell

5  Fashions in Miniature: Dolls
• Laetitia Powell (1741–1801)
• The Powell Dolls
• Mimetic Dolls and Miniature Selves
• Dolls as Sartorial Social Narrators

6  Conclusion: Material Afterlives

Glossary
Bibliography
Index

New Book | Dress Codes

Posted in books by Editor on May 29, 2021

From Simon & Schuster:

Richard Thompson Ford, Dress Codes: How the Laws of Fashion Made History (New York: Simon & Schuster, 2021), 464 pages, ISBN: 978-1501180064, $30.

Dress codes are as old as clothing itself. For centuries, clothing has been a wearable status symbol; fashion, a weapon in struggles for social change; and dress codes, a way to maintain political control. Merchants who dressed like princes and butchers’ wives wearing gem-encrusted crowns were public enemies in medieval societies structured by social hierarchy and defined by spectacle. In Tudor England, silk, velvet, and fur were reserved for the nobility and ballooning pants called “trunk hose” could be considered a menace to good order. The Renaissance era Florentine patriarch Cosimo de Medici captured the power of fashion and dress codes when he remarked, “One can make a gentleman from two yards of red cloth.” Dress codes evolved along with the social and political ideals of the day, but they always reflected struggles for power and status. In the 1700s, South Carolina’s “Negro Act” made it illegal for Black people to dress “above their condition.” In the 1920s, the bobbed hair and form-fitting dresses worn by free-spirited flappers were banned in workplaces throughout the United States and in the 1940s the baggy zoot suits favored by Black and Latino men caused riots in cities from coast to coast.

Even in today’s more informal world, dress codes still determine what we wear, when we wear it—and what our clothing means. People lose their jobs for wearing braided hair, long fingernails, large earrings, beards, and tattoos or refusing to wear a suit and tie or make-up and high heels. In some cities, wearing sagging pants is a crime. And even when there are no written rules, implicit dress codes still influence opportunities and social mobility. Silicon Valley CEOs wear t-shirts and flip flops, setting the tone for an entire industry: women wearing fashionable dresses or high heels face ridicule in the tech world, and some venture capitalists refuse to invest in any company run by someone wearing a suit.

In Dress Codes, law professor and cultural critic Richard Thompson Ford presents an insightful and entertaining history of the laws of fashion from the middle ages to the present day, a walk down history’s red carpet to uncover and examine the canons, mores, and customs of clothing—rules that we often take for granted.

Richard Thompson Ford is a Professor at Stanford Law School. He has written about law, social and cultural issues, and race relations for The New York Times, The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Slate, and has appeared on The Colbert Report and The Rachel Maddow Show. He is the author of The New York Times notable books The Race Card and Rights Gone Wrong: How Law Corrupts the Struggle for Equality. He lives in San Francisco.

New Book | Gainsborough in London

Posted in books by Editor on May 27, 2021

Distributed for Modern Art Press by Yale UP:

Susan Sloman, Gainsborough in London (London: Modern Art Press, 2021), 412 pages, ISBN: 978-0956800787, £35 / $45.

Thomas Gainsborough’s (1727–1788) London years, from 1774 to 1788, were the pinnacle and conclusion of his career. They coincided with the establishment of the Royal Academy, of which Gainsborough was a founding member, and the city’s ascendance as a center for the arts. This is a meticulously researched and readable account of how Gainsborough designed his home and studio and maintained a growing schedule of influential patrons, making a place for himself in the art world of late-18th-century London. New material about Gainsborough’s technique is based on examinations of his pictures and firsthand accounts by studio visitors. His fractious relationship with the Royal Academy and its exhibition culture is reexamined through the works he sent to its annual shows. The full range of Gainsborough’s art, from fashionable portraits to landscapes and fancy pictures, is addressed in this major contribution, not just to the study of a great artist, but to 18th-century studies in general.

Susan Sloman is an independent scholar and curator specialising in eighteenth-century studies. Gainsborough in London is the follow-up to her previous book, Gainsborough in Bath.

For more information, see Dr. Sloman’s posting at the Yale Books Blog.

New Book | Dangerous to Show: Byron and His Portraits

Posted in books by Editor on May 25, 2021

Distributed in the US and Canada by The University of Chicago Press:

Geoffrey Bond and Christine Kenyon Jones, Dangerous to Show: Byron and His Portraits (London: Unicorn Publishing Group, 2020), 160 pages, ISBN: 978-1912690718, £25 / $38.

“Don’t look at him. He is dangerous to look at,” said Lady Liddell to her daughter in 1817. Handsome, charismatic, aristocratic, and allegedly “mad, bad and dangerous to know,” Lord Byron (1788–1824) is one of the most captivating and recognizable figures of the Romantic Age. His face, figure, and appearance added to the appeal of his poetry, and the close association of the man with his poetic creations encouraged a wide range of artists to create portraits during his lifetime and to memorialize him after his heroic death in Greece.

The first work on the subjects of the portraits of the poet, and written by two authorities on the subject, Dangerous to Show explores Byron’s life through the intriguing stories behind one hundred of these images. Reproduced in color for the first time, we can explore the key paintings, miniatures, sculptures, drawings, and sketches, along with a selection of prints, cartoons, engravings, and other representations of the artist. The book uses Byron’s own wit with words to recount his attempts to manage his own image through the way he was presented in his portraits, as well as through fashion, weight control, and the disguise of his lameness.

Christine Kenyon Jones is a writer and lecturer, and an expert on Lord Byron and the Romantic period. She has been published widely on Byron’s image and his portraiture; on his politics and his pronunciation; on his disability and his dieting; on his relationship with his publisher John Murray, his religious background and his afterlife as a science-fiction character. Her book Kindred Brutes is a study of animals in the Romantic period, in which Byron figures largely. She has also written, lectured and broadcast widely about the Regency period and Jane Austen. She is a Research Fellow in the Department of English at King’s College London.

Geoffrey Bond is a polymath, having had careers as a solicitor, businessman, and broadcaster. His special interests now are the creation and promotion of education initiatives for young people in the heritage, law and engineering sectors. He has written and lectured on heritage matters and chaired a variety of heritage organisations at regional and national level. A collector and antiquarian, living in an historic house, he is a Fellow and former member of the council of the Antiquaries Society of London. He has one of the best collections of Byron first editions and Byron memorabilia in the country.

New Book | Minerva’s French Sisters

Posted in books by Editor on May 24, 2021

Professor Gelbart will be discussing her book this Thursday, 27 May, at 6pm (ET), in an online session hosted by The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. From Yale UP:

Nina Rattner Gelbart, Minerva’s French Sisters: Women of Science in Enlightenment France (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2021), 360 pages, ISBN: 978-0300252569, $40.

A fascinating collective biography of six female scientists in eighteenth-century France, whose stories were largely written out of history

This book presents the stories of six intrepid Frenchwomen of science in the Enlightenment whose accomplishments—though celebrated in their lifetimes—have been generally omitted from subsequent studies of their period: mathematician and philosopher Elisabeth Ferrand, astronomer Nicole Reine Lepaute, field naturalist Jeanne Barret, garden botanist and illustrator Madeleine Françoise Basseporte, anatomist and inventor Marie-Marguerite Biheron, and chemist Geneviève d’Arconville. By adjusting our lens, we can find them.

In a society where science was not yet an established profession for men, much less women, these six audacious and inspiring figures made their mark on their respective fields of science and on Enlightenment society, as they defied gender expectations and conventional norms. Their boldness and contributions to science were appreciated by such luminaries as Franklin, the philosophes, and many European monarchs. The book is written in an unorthodox style to match the women’s breaking of boundaries.

Nina Rattner Gelbart is professor of history and Anita Johnson Wand Professor of Women’s Studies at Occidental College. Her previous books include Feminine and Opposition Journalism in Old Regime France and The King’s Midwife: A History and Mystery of Madame du Coudray.

C O N T E N T S

Acknowledgments
Chronology
Actors in a Supporting Role

Introduction: A Sextet of Firsts, Variations on a Theme
Interlude: Letter to Elisabeth, Reine, Jeanne, Madeleine Françoise, Marie-Marguerite, and Geneviève
1  Mathematician and Philosopher: The ‘Celebrated Mlle Ferrand’ (1700–1752)
Interlude: Letter to Elisabeth
2  Astronomer and ‘Learned Calculator’: Nicole Reine Lepaute (1723–1788)
Interlude: Letter to Reine
3  Botany in the Field and in the Garden: Jeanne Baret (1740–1807) and Madeleine Françoise Basseporte (1701–1780)
Interlude: Letters to Jeanne and Madeleine Françoise
4  Anatomist and Inventor: Marie-Marguerite Biheron and Her Medical Museum (1719–1795)
Interlude: Letter to Marie-Marguerite
5  Chemist and Experimentalist: Marie Geneviève Charlotte Thiroux d’Arconville and Her Choice of Anonymity (1720–1805)
Interlude: Letter to Geneviève

Epilogue
Notes
Index