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Margaret Fountaine: the life and works of a rather ordinary Victorian lepidopterist

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Through the example of Margaret Fountaine, I will try to demonstrate that boundaries we currently use to divide and understand the natural history community in her period are not useful for furthering our understanding of this period. She transgresses supposed boundaries of professionalism and gender and ends up in a historical position that conflicts with our current understanding of entomology in the late Victorian period, as a result she is labelled by historians as an ‘eccentric’. I argue that we she was more the norm than an ‘eccentric’ and that we should adjust the boundaries and not her!

This talk is part of the HPS History Workshop series.

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