In the late summer of 1842, Anne Phillips, working under her brother's instructions, found the crucial piece of evidence – known thereafter as Miss Phillips' conglomerate – that disproved Murchison's theories about the intrusive origin of the Malvern Hills. Later she travelled with her brother to examine the volcanics of the Auvergne. But these were not her first, or her only, geological achievements. From 1829 until her death in 1862, Anne served as housekeeper to her bachelor older brother. Orphaned at an early age, both John and Anne were taken in by their uncle, William Smith. Smith arranged for John's schooling and introduced John to the science of geology as a teenager. However, little evidence exists about Anne's upbringing and education. A series of 234 letters written by John to Anne between 1829 and 1841, and preserved in the Phillips archive at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, reveals that Anne was clearly well educated and provided her brother with valuable scientific back-up as well as essential domestic and emotional support during their 33 years together.
Figures & Tables
Where were the women in Geology? This book is a first as it unravels the diverse roles women have played in the history and development of geology as a science predominantly in the UK, Ireland and Australia, and selectively in Germany, Russia and US. The volume covers the period from the late eighteenth century to the present day and shows how the roles that women have played changed with time. These included illustrators, museum collectors and curators, educationalists, researchers and geologists. Originally as wives, sisters or mothers many were assistants to their male relatives. This book looks at all these forgotten women and for the first time historians and scientists together explore the contribution they made to this male-dominated subject. There are individual profiles on remarkable women: Catherine Raisin, Dorothea Bate, Cuvier's daughters, Grace Prestwich, Annie Greenly, Nancy Kirk, Margaret Crosfield, Ethel Skeat, Maria Ogivlie Gordon, Marie Stopes, Anne Phillips, Muriel Arber and Etheldred Bennett. Pulling together this extensive research uncovered common issues and generated emergent themes. The Editors have brought this new research together under these themes and tried to answer the question Where were the women in Geology? They go on to discuss how these role models can be applicable to today's society.