Download Almost a man of genius: Clémence Royer, feminism, and by Joy Harvey PDF

By Joy Harvey

Clemence Royer was once a 19th-century Frenchwoman most likely top identified for generating the 1st French translation of Charles Darwin. in spite of the fact that, her efforts went a lot additional, encompassing anthropology, physics, philosophy, cosmology, and chemistry. during this full-scale biography, Harvey, a technology historian and previous affiliate editor of Cambridge University's Darwin Correspondence venture, lines Royer's awesome lifestyles.

A feminist who made lifelong enemies nearly as conveniently as she made neighbors, Royer was once by no means capable of adopt formal, complicated schooling and used to be a made of her personal self-study efforts. basically in her previous couple of years used to be she officially well-known through a number of specialist societies and provided the French Legion of Honor. Harvey contains an summary of past biographical remedies, the textual content of an 1874 conversation on "Women, technological know-how, and the beginning Rate," and vast notes.

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Extra info for Almost a man of genius: Clémence Royer, feminism, and nineteenth-century science

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19 Her love of theatrical images may have helped fire her imagination. One priest, trying to impress the dangers of secular life, described a girl at a ball dancing with a man who dies in her arms. She finds she is dancing with a corpse. The priest repeated this final scene three times with increasing dramatic intensity. Clémence was horrified at the consequences of secular enjoyment. She began to have incessant headaches, possibly migraines, which may have been associated with early puberty.

The priests, who had alarmed her with the image of a young woman dancing with a corpse, diminished in importance. Her adolescence had arrived, and she became active in the social world with which her parents surrounded her. She did not give up the contemplative side of her life. She read everything she could find, but she was not yet a scholar. She did not try to attend the public lectures at the Sorbonne or the Collège de France, nor did she know about them. She did not have the ambition to study medicine that some of the bright young women of the following generation would develop.

When in 1985 I briefly met Geneviève Fraisse, my conversation with her led me to her book on Royer that had just been published, a continuing inspiration and delight to me over the years. I had some excellent discussions many years ago with Robert Richards about Royer and Spencer. He then put his student Sara Joan Miles in communication with me and over the years, we have continued to exchange both papers and ideas. Her careful analysis of Royer's publications, particularly the Darwin prefaces and translations, have xiv proved very useful, although we have often agreed to disagree.

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