NEH banner [Return to Query]

Products for grant FB-57785-14

Natural Science and Wondrous Transformations: A Translation of Maria Sibylla Merian's 17th-Century Writing on Insects
Kay Etheridge, Gettysburg College

Grant details:

The Flowering of Ecology: Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Book (Book)
Title: The Flowering of Ecology: Maria Sibylla Merian’s Caterpillar Book
Author: Kay Etheridge
Abstract: The Flowering of Ecology presents an English translation of Maria Sibylla Merian’s 1679 ‘caterpillar’ book, Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung und sonderbare Blumen–Nahrung. Her processes in making the book and an analysis of its scientific content are presented in a historical context. Merian raised insects for five decades, recording the food plants, behavior and ecology of roughly 300 species. Her most influential invention was an 'ecological' composition in which the metamorphic cycles of insects (usually moths and butterflies) were arrayed around plants that served as food for the caterpillars. Kay Etheridge analyzes the 1679 caterpillar book from the viewpoint of a biologist, arguing that Merian’s study of insect interactions with plants, the first of its kind, was a formative contribution to natural history.
Year: 2021
Primary URL:
Primary URL Description: Brill website
Access Model: hardback and e-book
Publisher: Brill
Type: Single author monograph
ISBN: 978-90-04-2847
Translator: Michael Ritterson
Copy sent to NEH?: No