Two celebrations - International Women's Day and World Book Day

by Ann Sylph on

Two celebrations this month -  International Women's Day and World Book Day

We are featuring a book or monograph by Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe-   A monograph of the genus Teracolus, the illustrations on this page are from her monograph.

She was the first woman to first author a paper in Proceedings of the Zoological Society

Lithograph of butterfly Teracolus bacchus, Plate 24 in monograph of the genus by Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe. Lithograph by M. Horman Fisher.
Lithograph of Teracolus bacchus, Plate 24 in monograph of the genus by Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe. Lithograph by M. Horman Fisher.

Emily Sharpe’s first authored paper is featured in the open access virtual issue of Journal of Zoology on women and zoology, it is titled Descriptions of New Butterflies collected by Mr. F. J. Jackson, F.Z.S., in British East Africa, during his recent Expedition.—Part I.

Women and Zoology Virtual issue

 

She was one of the 10 daughters of ZSL’s first Librarian, Richard Bowdler Sharpe who was instrumental in encouraging women to work in zoology.  Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe is also sometimes referred to as Emily Mary Sharpe. Her sisters worked as valued colourists in many of the illustrated natural history books of the nineteenth century. It was essential for the colouring to be correct, particularly for identification of bird species. The accuracy of their work was appreciated by the artists of the original drawings from which prints were made.

Butterfly Teracolus bacchus detail from Plate 24 of the monograph of the genus by Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe, lithograph by M. Horman Fisher
Teracolus bacchus detail from Plate 24 of the monograph of the genus by Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe, lithograph by M. Horman Fisher

 

Further reading:

Journal of Zoology virtual issue on women and zoology, including the paper first authored by a woman in PZS,  Descriptions of New Butterflies collected by Mr. F. J. Jackson, F.Z.S., in British East Africa, during his recent Expedition.—Part I.  March 1891,  Proceedings of the Zoological Society  Vol. 59 Issue 2, pages 187 -194 .

As John Bielby states in his editorial for the Journal of Zoology Virtual issue

`Although the specimens were collected by a man, in the 19th Century it became increasingly common for women to describe the specimens, thereby doing the actual science.’ 

 

A monograph of the genus Teracolus / by Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe, London : Reeve, 1898[-1902] (Monographiae entomologicae ; 1)

 

Richard Bowdler Sharpe and his ten daughters / by Christine E. Jackson in Archives of Natural History, 1994, Volume 21, Issue 3, Pages 261-269, ISSN 0260-9541

Colour illustrations of the butterfly genus Teracolus in Plate 1 of Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe's Monograph of the species. T. Calais, T. amatus, T. crowleyi. Lithographed by M. Horman Fisher
Colour illustrations of the genus Teracolus in Plate 1 of Emily Mary Bowdler Sharpe's Monograph of the species. T. Calais, T. amatus, T. crowleyi. Lithographed by M. Horman Fisher

If you visit ZSL London Zoo, please take a look at the display in the East Tunnel about `The zoo at war 1914-1918’ as this includes a panel on `Women at work’. As many men were called up, there were more opportunities available to women. Also visit Butterfly Paradise to immerse yourself in beautiful butterflies!

If you are a ZSL Fellow or Member please do also visit ZSL Library. Others are also welcome but please do bring photographic ID and proof of address when you visit, see  ZSL Library Collection for details.

ZSL Prince Philip Zoological Library & Archives is a wonderful and unique information resource about animals and their conservation – we aim to inspire, inform, and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct. Information is vitally important in conservation.

Our collections can be explored and discovered in a variety of ways –

 

 

 

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