STEMinists: Louisa Atkinson
Hello welcome back from wonder media network. I'm jenny kaplan and this is encyclopedia will manica if if you're just tuning in for the first time here's the deal every weekday for a month. We're telling the story of a woman from throughout history through. You may not know about definitely shut shut. Each month has a theme and this month. We're talking about stem. Science technology engineering and mathematics are dramatically male dominated fields but there are extraordinary and sometimes forgotten women who should be remembered for their contributions to those fields throughout time all month flung. We'll be bringing you their stories. There's no one better to start with today's stemming assist. She was responsible for lots of firsts herself. She lived on the cutting thing edge of science creation and discovery during the birth of australia as a nation her groundbreaking artistic literary biological work still proves helpful to scholars dollars today. Let's talk about the incredible. Louisa atkinson caroline louisa warring atkinson was born in eighteen thirty four four in the small australian village sutton forest new south wales. She was the fourth child of two pioneering writers her father james atkinson and wrote an account of the state of agriculture and grazing in new south wales in eighteen twenty six which was among the first australian books louise's mother her charlotte barton r- australia's first children's book called a mother's offering to her children. When luisa was just eight weeks old her father passed away she spent a lot of time with her mother even more so because louisa suffered from a heart defect as a child that meant that she had to be home schooled. Her mother took on the role of teacher. Charlotte barton was artistic and historically curious and she passed those traits onto her daughter charlotte. Homeschool lessons may have encouraged louisa later botanical interest. Louise's family eventually moved near the modern day blue mountains national park. Her mother built a home home called fern hearst. We're louisa spend most of her life. Louisa became a sunday school teacher and acted as scribe for illiterate locals but her true claim to fame came from her discovery of new plant species in the blue mountains and southern highlands regions of southwest australia. She published her first natural science articles in eighteen fifty three when she was just nineteen years old. It was an illustrated series called nature notes of the month this workmate louisa the first woman australia to have a long-running article series in a major newspaper. She also wrote for multiple. Other publications and published was just series of natural history. Sketches called a voice from the country that ran for over ten years through her work. Louisa made science popular her accessible to everyone her botanical art particularly stood out for the variety of life. She depicted with impressive skill. Animals birds insects reptiles reptiles and even landscapes. She also practiced some taxidermy. Louisa traveled all over her region of australia and became an expert in many of the plants plants the area she collected samples for prominent teachers and researchers and though she was far from the only person doing this per enthusiastic persistent stint and thorough work stood out louisa also followed in the footprints of her book writing parents when she was twenty three years old. She became the first australian-born woman to publish a novel in the country. Her book was called gertrude the emigrant and was published eighteen fifty seven a quick note. The author's name is actually only only listed as an australian woman on the book but historians credit louisa with the accomplishment critics praised the novel for the accurate vibrant depiction of australian australian colonial life particularly from a woman's perspective louise's novel show a window into what life was like in australia's infancy her her work promoted the rights of women and in some ways the aboriginal people through her equally humanizing portrayals of every care by the eighteen sixties st louisa fervently advocated for land conservation in her writing. She predicted what colonialism would eventually do. The lush australian landscape she wrote it needs no fertile imagination to foresee that in say half centuries time tracks of hundreds of miles will be treeless. Uh louisa passed away from her heart problems in eighteen seventy two when she was thirty eight years old. She died just eighteen days after the birth of her daughter. Her obituary said this excellent lady who's been cut down like a flower in the midst of her days was highly distinguished for her literary dreary and artistic attainments as well as for the christian principles unexpansive charity which marked her career louisa atkinson left quite a legacy she she even had several plant species named after her she was considered on authority by colleagues in her own day and she continues to be seen as such today her fictional fictional work and scientific achievements broke barriers paving the way for future women in both fields tune in tomorrow for the story of another author barrier-breaking stemming honest special things to lose kaplan. 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