Mary Somerville

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Eminent Scottish mathematician and scientist MS was best known as the author of four popular expository texts on science: Mechanism of the Heavens (1831), On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences (1834), Physical Geography (1848), and On Molecular and Microscopic Science (1869). She also published the results of three of her experiments, an article on Halley's comet, and an autobiography.
Image from head-and-shoulders chalk drawing of Mary Somerville by James Rannie Swinton, 1848. She looks down, away from the viewer, wearing a white scarf and white ruffled cap, her dark smooth hair parted in the middle and pulled back. This was engraved as frontispiece to her "Physical Geography", vol. i, 1848.
"Mary Somerville" Retrieved from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:PSM_V25_D008_Mary_Somerville.jpg. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.

Milestones

26 December 1780
Mary Fairfax, later MS , was born at the manse in Jedburgh, Scotland.
Patterson, Elizabeth Chambers. “Mary Fairfax Greig Somerville (1780-1872)”. Women of Mathematics: A Biobiliographic Sourcebook, edited by Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell, Greenwood Press, 1987, pp. 208 - 16.
208
Somerville, Mary. Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville. Somerville, MarthaEditor , Roberts Brothers, 1874.
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2 February 1826
The results of MS 's first experimental investigation of the connection between light and magnetism were presented to the Royal Society by William Somerville ; they later appeared in the Society's Philosophical Transactions.
Patterson, Elizabeth Chambers. “Mary Fairfax Greig Somerville (1780-1872)”. Women of Mathematics: A Biobiliographic Sourcebook, edited by Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell, Greenwood Press, 1987, pp. 208 - 16.
213
Patterson, Elizabeth Chambers. Mary Somerville and the Cultivation of Science, 1815-1840. Martinus Nijhoff, 1983.
47
2 September 1848
John Murray of London published MS 's most successful book, an explanatory textbook in two volumes entitled Physical Geography.
Patterson, Elizabeth Chambers. “Mary Fairfax Greig Somerville (1780-1872)”. Women of Mathematics: A Biobiliographic Sourcebook, edited by Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell, Greenwood Press, 1987, pp. 208 - 16.
214
The Athenaeum Index of Reviews and Reviewers: 1830-1870.
1088 (2 September 1848): 877-9
29 November 1872
MS died in Naples at the age of ninety-one.
Patterson, Elizabeth Chambers. Mary Somerville and the Cultivation of Science, 1815-1840. Martinus Nijhoff, 1983.
194

Biography

Birth

26 December 1780
Mary Fairfax, later MS , was born at the manse in Jedburgh, Scotland.
Patterson, Elizabeth Chambers. “Mary Fairfax Greig Somerville (1780-1872)”. Women of Mathematics: A Biobiliographic Sourcebook, edited by Louise S. Grinstein and Paul J. Campbell, Greenwood Press, 1987, pp. 208 - 16.
208
Somerville, Mary. Personal Recollections, from Early Life to Old Age, of Mary Somerville. Somerville, MarthaEditor , Roberts Brothers, 1874.
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