Sarah Bowdich Lee

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Sarah Bowdich Lee (née Wallis) (10 Sep 1791–22 Sep 1866) was an English author, illustrator, traveller, zoologist, botanist, and pteridologist.

Information[edit]

Lee was born on 10 September 1791, and was the only daughter of John Eglinton Wallis of Colchester. In 1813, Sara Wallis married Thomas Edward Bowdich, the naturalist.[1]

She shared her husband's interests in nature, travel, and adventure. In 1819, they went to Paris to visit Baron Cuvier; Thomas had already visited him in 1818 with a letter of introduction obtained from Dr. William Elford Leach of the British Museum. Cuvier received the two with great warmth and hospitality, and they spent most of the next four years in Paris studying his collections. In 1823, on their final trip to Africa, they visited Madeira on their way, but her husband died on the Gambia river on 10 January 1824.[1]

Left with three children, she struggled to support her family as an author.[2] In the early part of her widowhood, Sarah Bowdich often visited Baron Cuvier in Paris, where he treated her almost like a daughter; upon his death in 1832 she wrote a memoir of his life. In 1826, she married Robert Lee and in subsequent years published under the name "Mrs. Robert Lee." In 1864, she was granted a civil list pension of £60. Mrs. Lee died at Erith on 22 September 1866.[1]

Of her numerous works, perhaps the four most important are: Taxidermy, 1820, an exhaustive treatment which came to a sixth edition in 1843; Excursions in Madeira and Porto Santo, 1825, an excellent work of natural history; The Fresh-Water Fishes of Great Britain, 1825, illustrated by the author;[3] and Memoirs of Baron Cuvier, 1833. In 1854, she was granted a civil list pension of £50 per year. In 1856, she died at Erith while visiting her daughter, Eugenia.[4]

Selected publications[edit]

  • 1844. Elements of Natural History, for the use of schools and young persons: comprising the principles of classification, interspersed with ... account of the most remarkable animals ... Illustrated
  • 1850. Elements of Natural History, for the use of schools and young persons: comprising the principles of classification, interspersed with ... account of the most remarkable animals ... Illustrated
  • 1851. Adventures in Australia: or, the Wanderings of Captain Spencer in the bush and the wilds ... With illustrations by J.S. Prout. xi, [1], 364 pp., 18 pl.
  • 1852a. British Birds, with descriptions by Mrs. R. Lee ... and seven pictures from drawings by Harrison Weir
  • 1852b The Farm and its Scenes, with descriptions by Mrs. R. Lee ... and six pictures from drawings by Harrison Weir
  • 1853a. Foreign Animals, with descriptions by Mrs. R. Lee ... and seven pictures from drawings by Harrison Weir
  • 1853b. Anecdotes of the Habits and Instincts of Birds, Reptiles, and Fishes ... With illustrations by Harrison Weir
  • 1853c. Familiar Natural History, with descriptions by Mrs. R. Lee ... and ... illustrations from drawings by Harrison Weir
  • 1854. Trees, Plants, and Flowers: their beauties, uses, and influences ... The illustrations ... by James Andrews
  • 1867. The African wanderers ... Fourth edition
  • Foreign Birds, with descriptions by Mrs. R. Lee ... and seven pictures from drawings by Harrison Weir
  • Taxidermy: or, the art of collecting, preparing, and mounting objects of natural history
  • British Animals, with descriptions by Mrs. R. Lee ... and seven pictures from drawings by Harrison Weir

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Watkins 1892.
  2. ^ Beaver DB (1999). "Writing natural history for survival - 1820-1856: the case of Sarah Bowdich, later Sarah Lee". Archives of Natural History. 26 (1): 19–31. ISSN 0260-9541. doi:10.3366/anh.1999.26.1.19. 
  3. ^ Gates, Barbara T. (1998). Kindred nature: Victorian and Edwardian women embrace the living world. Chicago: U. of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-28443-3. (pbk). ISBN 0-226-28442-5 (cloth). 
  4. ^ Creese, Mary R. S. (2004), Ladies in the Laboratory II: Western European Women in Science, 1800-1900, Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, pp. 225–227 
  5. ^ IPNI.  Bowdich. 
Attribution

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainWatkins, Morgan George (1892). "Lee, Sarah". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 32. London: Smith, Elder & Co. p. 379. 

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