Chemistry in the Schoolroom: 1806: Selections from Mrs. Marcet's Conversations on Chemistry
ABOUT THE BOOK
1806: Chemistry lectures were all the rage in fashionable London, and not only for men. But one member of the audience at the Royal Institution thought that women would benefit more from the lectures if there were a suitable book to accompany them. So Jane Marcet wrote Conversations on Chemistry, which features Mrs. B. tutoring two bright teenagers: diligent Emily and ebullient Caroline. The book inspired not only women; Michael Faraday was one of Marcets many fans, and nearly 160,000 copies of the fifteen editions of the book were eventually sold in Britain and North America.
To understand the books popularity, to enjoy Marcets fresh approach and elegant diagrams, and to learn much of the social life of the time, todays reader need only dip into these lively selections, introduced by a former tutor of chemistry. Although some of the science may now seem quaint, Mrs. B.s educational ideas, and Carolines undisciplined intelligence will strike a chord with many of todays teachers and their former pupils.