Biology & Natural History

Molesworth, Caroline & E. A. Omerod | The Cobham Journals

  • First edition, being the first publication of any portion of the natural history journals of Caroline Molesworth, which were only recently reissued by Cambridge University Press. Scarce; Library Hub locates around nineteen copies, with a further three found in WorldCat.

    Caroline Molesworth (1794-1872) grew up in London, but moved with her family to Surrey in 1823 and “immediately upon arriving, she began the series of observations that she continued with only occasional lapses until 1858, when her failing health forced her to entrust a part of them to others. However, she did not completely abandon the observations until 1867” (Ogilvie, p. 907). Molesworth was a careful observer and kept in touch with other amateur naturalists and professional scientists. Her journals consist of daily records of temperature, air pressure, moon phase, weather conditions, wind direction, observations of a storm glass, and notes about the behaviour of animals and plants.

    The editor of this abridged version of the Journals, Eleanor A. Omerod (1828-1901), one of the founders of the field of agricultural entomology. In addition to her extensive entomological work, Ormerod “recorded observations for the Meteorological Society, to which she was elected a fellow in 1878, the first woman to be so. Two years later, she edited Caroline Molesworth's Cobham Journals of meteorological and phenological observations. Her introductory description of Caroline Molesworth (1794–1872) could easily have been an autobiographical statement of Eleanor Ormerod, economic entomologist” (ODNB).

  • ...Abstracts and Summaries of Meteorological and Phenological Observations Made by Miss Caroline Molesworth at Cobham, Surrey, in the Years 1825 to 1850. With Introduction, Tables, &c., by Eleanor A. Ormerod. London: Edward Stanford, 1880.

    Octavo. Original brown cloth, titles to spine and upper board gilt, panels blocked in blind to the boards. Tables within the text. Bookplate of Edward M. Shepard Erlowest. T. Gates, Darton & Co. binder’s ticket to rear pastedown, bookseller’s ticket of James Thornton of Oxford to the front pastedown. Clith a little rubbed and bumped, particularly at the extremities, two shallow scuffs to the upper board, title page spotted and toned, contents slightly toned. Very good condition.