Bringing the past to life with colour

Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
Mary Fairfax was born in 1780, at a time when women just weren’t expected to participate in intellectual pursuits like science yet, along with Caroline Herschel, was nominated to be jointly the first female member of the Royal Astronomical Society.

She was married twice, first to Samuel Greig then, five years being widowed in 1807, to Dr William Somerville, who recognised and encouraged his wife’s scientific endeavours.

Pierre-Simon Laplace once told her, without realising that Mrs Grieg and Mrs Somerville were one and the same,  “There have been only three women who have understood me. These are yourself Mrs Somerville, Caroline Herschel and a Mrs Greig of whom I know nothing”

Mary Somerville
Original engraving, published in 1873, a year after her death. Date depicted unknown.


2 responses

  1. The delicately nurtured amongst us suffer from an inherent disadvantage because of the attitudes ingrained in the society. Such examples go a long way in our feeble attempts to correct this imbalance.


    June 24, 2014 at 1:01 pm

  2. Pingback: Caroline Herschel | Tinting History

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