Margaret Gatty, British Sea-weeds: drawn from Professor Harvey’s “Phycologia Britannica” (1863, 1872)

Sourced from the Biodiversity Heritage Library, by Jennifer Parker for the Confluence exhibition at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, North Carolina

Margaret Gatty developed an interest in the diversity of seaweed on Sussex shores in the late Georgian and early Victorian eras, when seaweed collecting was a popular pastime among those who had the means to escape the smoggy cities and travel to the coast to take the air. To encourage other women to take up the study of seaweed, Margaret wrote a handbook for amateurs. Her British Sea-weeds (1863, 1872) introduced readers to the variety of species and how to identify them using her illustrations, and provided advice on suitable clothing for collecting excursions (no petticoats below the ankle, please), and when to take along a male companion.”

-Bronwen Scott, Margaret Gatty: A Life of Seaweed and Stories