Conversations on Natural Philosophy, in which the Elements of that Science are Familiarly Explained.
Published by Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, London. 1822. Third Edition.
Contains numerous illustrated diagrams on plates.
This textbook covers the basics of scientific knowledge of the time: physics, mechanics, astronomy, the properties of fluids, air, and optics. It established a common format in Marcet's works: a dialogue between two pupils, Caroline and Emily (or Emilie), and their teacher, Mrs. Bryant (Mrs. B). Caroline, the younger, asks flippant questions that nonetheless move the dialogue along, while Emily is more controlled and reflective. Mrs. Bryant is a maternal mentoring figure who leads them to question and examine their ideas. Both the scientific content of the dialogue, and the discursive process of sharing scientific knowledge, were important for Marcet's readers.
Jane Marcet (1769-1858) was born in London and educated at home in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, and philosophy. She married Alexander Marcet and came in contact with numerous professional scientists. She went on to write books in an astonishing range of areas including chemistry, botany, economics, and religion.
One of the world's greatest scientists, revolutionizing both physics and chemistry, Michael Faraday, born in 1791, read the work of Jane. He was impressed by her work on chemistry and by this it helped him to find a new calling for science and later claimed that it had played a vital role in his career as a chemist.
CONDITION: Covers have general wear commensurate with age, scuffs and corner bumps. Booksellers very small sticker inside front cover. Previous owners name on F.F.E.P. Corners of F.F.E.P and Title Page show creases to corners from previous folding. Instances of light foxing and spotting throughout, with moderate amounts on or opposite illustrated plates. Plate I is incorrectly marked as being opposite page 37 where it is actually page 31, a correction of which has been added by the previous owner in pencil. Binding firm. Pages are generally very clean and bright for age. (See photos)