Cornhill Magazine,  6 (1862), 269–70.

Conversazione: Science and Art

[Richard Doyle]


Miscellaneous, Drollery

Relevant illustrations:



Societies, Popularization, Amusement, Scientific Practitioners, Natural History, Comparative Anatomy, Palaeontology, Display, Electricity, Microscopy

    Gives a brief account of an imaginary meeting of metropolitan high society at which 'literary lions, artistic celebrities, famous lecturers upon science, distinguished inventors in mechanics, discoverers of planets' all 'talk to one another, exchange ideas, or criticise some new invention, or drink tea' (269–70). In a room 'fitted up with all kinds of curious, interesting, and instructive objects', a 'traveller is expounding, with the aid of a plan of the bones, and a full-length portrait of the creature in a complete state, the manners, customs, and personal appearance of the very latest discovery in natural history', while portraits of 'the last thing out in the way of pre-Adamite monsters are also to be seen, being a portion of one toe, in a fossil state, of a new species of megatherium—very rare'. There are also 'microscopes through which you may gaze at the wondrous beauties to be seen in the foot of a frog', and there is 'an electric battery in one corner of the room, at which ladies and gentlemen may be shocked as much as they like'. (269) The full glory of the conversazione is depicted in a detailed pull-out engraving (facing 269).

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