Approved Methods of Setting Houses on Fire
Extract, Spoof; Afterword
Experiment, Accidents, Gender, Education, Light, Chemistry
The account of the causes of accidental fires is given as if it were a set of instructions for carrying out an experiment. One method is recommended as being 'elegant': 'Being founded on optical principles, it cannot fail to be acceptable to the ladies who have learnt their Ologies, who know the length of Captain Kater's pendulum, think Captain Basil Hall a greater man than Cook, Frobisher, and Raleigh united'. The writer observes that other 'scientific and chemical means of producing the same results, such as by a phosphorus bottle, or a bottle of oxymuriatic matches', are 'too vulgar to be introduced into so profound a treatise as this' (124).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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