Sarah B. Pomeroy and Jeyaraney Kathirithamby
Science and art combine in this captivating, lushly illustrated biography of Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717), one of the world’s first entomologists, who was also a botanist, naturalist, and celebrated artist.
In 1660, at the age of thirteen, Merian began her study of butterfly metamorphosis—years before any other scientist published an accurate description of the process. Later, she and her daughter Dorothea ventured thousands of miles from the Netherlands to the rain forests of South America seeking new and amazing insects to observe and illustrate.
Years after her death, Merian’s accurate and beautiful illustrations were used by scientists, including Carl Linnaeus, to classify species, and today her prints and paintings are prized by museums around the world. More than a dozen species of plants and animals are named in her honor.
The first Merian biography written for ages ten and up, this book will enchant budding scientists and artists alike. Readers will be inspired by Merian’s talent, curiosity, and grit and will be swept up by the story of her life, which was adventurous even by today’s standards. With its lively text, quotations from Merian’s own study book, and fascinating sidebars on history, art, and science, this volume is an ideal STEAM title.
Sarah B. Pomeroy is Distinguished Professor of Classics and History, Emerita, at Hunter College and the Graduate School of the City University of New York. She is widely recognized as a pioneer in the field of Women’s History and has changed the paradigm in the field of Classical Studies. Her many publications about Greek and Roman women and ancient history include Goddesses, Whores, Wives, and Slaves: Women in Classical Antiquity; Women in Hellenistic Egypt from Alexander to Cleopatra; Xenophon Oeconomicus: A Social and Historical Commentary; Families in Classical and Hellenistic Greece: Representations and Realities; Spartan Women; The Murder of Regilla: A Case of Domestic Violence in Antiquity; and Pythagorean Women: Their History and Their Writings. Her books have been translated into Italian, Spanish, German, and Chinese. Professor Pomeroy has been awarded fellowships from the Ford Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Mellon Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. She is an Honorary Fellow of St. Hilda’s College, the University of Oxford, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society, and has lectured all over the world, from Alexandria to Australia. She wrote this book for her seven grandchildren. Jeyaraney Kathirithamby was a Rhodes Visiting Fellow and is an entomologist at the Department of Zoology and St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford. She is the world authority on the entomophagous parasitoid Strepsiptera, on which she has published extensively.
Ages ten and up
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Included in ALA’s 2019 Amelia Bloomer List
“Visually stunning, well-researched.”
—School Library Journal
“…this book is a major contribution and also a thing of beauty…”
—The University of Oxford’s Quad
“ . . . students who are into bugs, nature, and art will love this title. It is one of those rare books that could be equally at home in the biography, art, or natural sciences sections of an elementary, middle, or high school library.”
—Idaho Commission for Libraries
8 1/2 x 10 inches
116 color and 3 b/w illustrations
Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum