Wednesday, June 08, 2005

A bleary-eyed post...
Last night was the second night I didn't sleep well. Ok, I slept well enough between 11:45pm and 4:15am, but a loud bird ensured I slept no longer than that. I'm feeling particularly exhausted because the rain and heat has ensured lots of pollination in our area, so my eyes have TWO reasons to feel so gritty.

But enough complaining. *g*

Rene, Alex - thanks for your support re my contest final and my less than happy initial reaction. Made me feel better :-)

Now, Rene asked about Pandora's Breeches. It's a study of the women who worked with men during the 16th-18th centuries on scientific discovery. Why would I read this when I'm one of the least scientifically inclined people you've ever met? Well, first, it deals with women's history - one of my favourite topics. Also, it deals with education, another interest I have. And it gives me background for my 18th century heroine - the times in which she lived, what she might have learned etc.

There's another reason. Though I may not be scientific, my sister is a microbiologist (Ph.D.) and my aunt was a biochemist (M.Sc.), so I have been exposed to science and women who take an interest in it. And I've always been fascinated by Marie Sklowdowska Curie, both as a Polish woman and one of intellect and dedication to learning.

The book itself, is quite fascinating. After a brief introduction, Ms. Fara launches into studies of pairings of men and women - from brother/sister teams, patron/protege relationships to husband/wife. The term Enlightenment is a little misleading as at least one of the couples John Dee and his wife Jane Dee, lived in the 16th century. I've already learned a lot and am looking forward to reading more.

What I'm really enjoying is that the writing style is engaging, written in clear language that neither overwhelms the reader with a plethora of scientific detail, nor condescends. As a non-scientist, I appreciate that. I'm about 1/3 of the way through and am eagerly anticipating the chapter on Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and his wife, Marie-Anne Pierrette Paulze. I'm familiar with their story after having read about them while researching my thesis about Jacques-Louis David - he painted their portrait.

Reading this book has already given me some ideas for fleshing out my heroine even more.

That's about it for today :-)


Still Reading: Pandora's Breeches by Patricia Fara

Link of the Day: Deb's Historical Research Page

1 comment:

Teresa said...

I'm sorry you haven't been sleeping well. I've been sick since Saturday so I understand the no sleep feeling.

btw, I tagged you on my blog.*g*