Jackson-Houlston, Caroline (Oxford Brookes University)
Journal of Victorian Culture, 11.1 (2006) 84-110
Can activities endorsed by Mary Wollstonecraft have been all bad for nineteenth-century women? The practices I have in mind are the verbal and visual study and representation of flowers, as both scientific and leisure pursuits. These activities were of great cultural importance to women in the Victorian period. Wollstonecraft herself took lessons in flower drawing from James Sowerby, whose English Botany was a standard in both illustration and botany for many decades after its initial publication from 1790-1814. Although she disapproved of the way women were constantly figured as flowers, Wollstonecraft approved of botany as a subject of study for girls.