Extract, Short Fiction
Class, Education, Amusement, Natural History
As a young child Lady Emmeline Belmont was under the care of a French governess, having lost her mother, and was not allowed to play with natural objects, like the other children, either in the woods, or on the sea-shore. Her toys 'were but poor substitutes for natural objects [...] the spotted horses, spotted as no animal ever was spotted; the [...] Noah's arks too, with their ill-proportioned animals; lady-birds as large as pigs, gnats as lions, butterflies larger than lionesses' (264–65). Unlike other children, 'the animal creation' did not form 'a little menagerie' in her mind. When she was eight, however, her father changed her governess, and 'the wonders of creation were made known to her; every walk was full of interest, every day of every year brought a subject for observation' (265). She 'kept a journal of the discoveries she made; she "wreathed the whole circle of the year", from the early lesser celandine, which spangles the meadows with its golden stars, to the blue autumn crocus'. She also 'learned to love those poets who drew from her favourite source, nature'. (266) The narrative ends by detailing how she used her talents to assist her poor neighbours.
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]