Buckley, Arabella

The Fairy-Land of Science. Illustrated. Fifth Edition.

  • Fifth edition, handsomely bound in contemporary tree calf.

    Author Arabella Buckley (1840-1929) was an authoritative popularizer of science and secretary to the zoologist Sir Charles Lyell. She was "personally familiar with the leading scientists and scientific theories of her day, lectured on natural science from 1876 until 1888, was editor of Mary Somerville's Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1877) and Heinrich Leutemann's Animals from Life (1887), and produced a set of botanical tables for the use of junior students (1876)" (ODNB).

    Buckley wrote a number of popular books on science, the present work being one of her most well-known. The text, based on a series of lectures given to London children, "demonstrate[s] her skill at telling the stories of science. In Fairy-Land Buckley generated interest in her scientific subjects by borrowing the language of fairy stories and wizardry to reinforce her ultimate belief that the wonders of science not only paralleled but surpassed the wonders of fairyland" (ODNB). Her topics include sunlight, the atmosphere, the water cycle, how water and ice shape the earth, sounds, the life cycle of a flower, the origin of coal, and bees and their evolutionary relationships to flowers.

  • London: Edward Stanford, 1879. Octavo (180 x 120 mm). Contemporary tree calf, spine elaborately gilt in compartments, black morocco label, marbled sides and endpapers gilt floral roll to boards. Frontispiece and engravings throughout the text. Contemporary gift inscription on the verso of the front free endpaper. A little rubbing and some scuffs to the calf, tiny chip at the head of the spine panel, joints just starting, small abraded area at the edges of the rear endpapers and the final leaf of the index, spotting to blanks at the front and rear, contents faintly toned. Very good condition.




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