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Cambridge University Library


The Reader for the 2017-18 series of Sandars Lectures is Dr Peter Wothers, Director of Studies in Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. The title of his Lectures is: Chemical Attractions.

In this third and final lecture, we look at some of the earliest books written by women chemists, prior to Madame Curie. Particularly important is Elizabeth Fulhame’s book from 1794: An essay on combustion, with a view to a new art of dying and painting. Also examined are the immensely influential and utterly delightful editions of Jane Marcet’s Conversations on Chemistry published between 1806 and 1853. This book takes the form of informal dialogues, or conversations, between the teacher, Mrs Bryan, and her two young students, Caroline and Emily. We will also look at other books written for younger audiences and some of the dangerous experiments they encouraged their readers to try out.

Seating availability will operate on a first-come, first-served basis.

This lecture will be followed by a drinks reception at St Catharine's College, 18.00-19.00. All are welcome to attend.