A Sweet Thing in Chignons
Microscopy, Instruments, Botany, Entomology, Disease, Parasitology, Amusement
Consists of a dialogue between Uncle Teazle and Fanny. Begins with Teazle giving his niece a microscope with which he hopes she will study botany and entomology. He emphasises that 'Science is fashionable now' and after providing his grateful niece with a definition of entomology, suggests that she uses her microscope to examine the mites in cheese. Their dialogue shifts to the subject of chignons, which prompts Teazle to suggest that his niece use the microscope to 'quiz' her chignon and look for gregarines (a form of parasite) in it. Fanny challenges her uncle's entomological definition of parasites, believing them to be people who 'frequent rich tables', but is then told by Teazle of Eduard von Lindemann's discovery of gregarines in the free ends of hair. He then tells his alarmed niece of the robust nature of these parasites and how they infest chignons and ball-rooms. The dialogue concludes with Fanny refusing to conduct a microscopic examination of the gregarines and her uncle urging her to wear a bank-note on her head rather than a chignon.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
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