You are browsing the archive for Erasmus Darwin.

Visions of Algae in Eighteenth-Century Botany

- September 7, 2016 in algae, botany, Conferva fontinalis, Erasmus Darwin, frankenstein, Joseph Priestley, mary shelley, photosynthesis, Science & Medicine, temple of nature

Although not normally considered the most glamorous of Mother Nature's offerings, algae has found itself at the heart of many a key moment in the last few hundred years of botanical science. Ryan Feigenbaum traces the surprising history of one particular species — Conferva fontinalis — from the vials of Joseph Priestley's laboratory to its possible role as inspiration for Shelley's Frankenstein.

Sex and Science in Robert Thornton’s Temple of Flora

- March 11, 2015 in Art & Illustrations, Books, botanical illustrations, botany, Carl Linnaeus, Erasmus Darwin, Featured Articles, flora, flowers, Painting, poetry, robert thornton, Science & Medicine, sex, temple of flora

Bridal beds, blushing captives, and swollen trunks - Carl Linnaeus' taxonomy of plants heralded a whole new era in 18th-century Europe of plants being spoken of in sexualised terms. Martin Kemp explores how this association between the floral and erotic reached its visual zenith in Robert Thornton's exquisitely illustrated Temple of Flora.