Animated beings: enlightenment entomology for girls

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This short exploration of Enlightenment entomology for girls draws on the epistolary and dialogic form that was so crucial to young women's engagement with natural science in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. Through these two genres a number of topics that are central to the dissemination of entomology for girls are surveyed: ambivalence towards female book-learning; epistolarity and sociability; empiricist methods of microscopy and classification in entomological texts; the gendered aesthetics of entomology; religious and ethical issues over conduct, utility and cruelty to animals; and further aesthetic concerns over didacticism and imagination raised by the Romantics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)487-505
Number of pages19
JournalJournal for Eighteenth-Century Studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010


  • entomology
  • women
  • Wakefield
  • letters
  • dialogue
  • Bazin
  • Rousseau
  • duchess of Portland


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