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‘The sceptre of her pow'r’: nymphs, nobility, and nomenclature in early Victorian science

  • DONALD L. OPITZ (a1)
Abstract

Only weeks following Queen Victoria's ascension to the throne on 20 June 1837, a controversy brewed over the naming of the ‘vegetable wonder’ known today as Victoria amazonica (Sowerby). This gargantuan lily was encountered by the Royal Geographical Society's explorer Robert Schomburgk in British Guyana on New Year's Day, 1837. Following Schomburgk's wishes, metropolitan naturalists sought Victoria's pleasure in naming the flower after her, but the involvement of multiple agents and obfuscation of their actions resulted in two royal names for the lily: Victoria regina (Gray) and Victoria regia (Lindley). To resolve the duplicity in names, the protagonists, John Edward Gray and John Lindley, made priority claims for their respective names, ultimately founding their authorities on conventions aligned with gentlemanly manners and deference to nobility. This article will analyse the controversy, hitherto unexamined by historians, and argue for its significance in repositioning Queen Victoria – and nobility generally – as central agents in the making of authority in early Victorian science.

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1 Cowper, William, Poems, vol. 1, London: John Sharpe, 1810, pp. 328329.

2 Cowper, op. cit. (1), pp. 328–329.

3 See the lithograph prepared by William Clark, in Novelty (2 September 1837) 3, reproduced in Vallone, Lynne, Becoming Victoria, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2001, p. 171.

4 Morus, Iwan Rhys, ‘(Stop) talking about Victorian science’, Annals of Science (2007) 64, pp. 93100, 100.

5 Homans, Margaret, ‘The powers of powerlessness: the courtships of Elizabeth Barrett and Queen Victoria’, in Keller, Lynn and Miller, Cristanne (eds.), Feminist Measures: Soundings in Poetry and Theory, Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994, pp. 237259, 258 n. 211; Morus, op. cit. (4), p. 100. Crosland recently showed how conflicting logics for awarding pensions to ‘cultivators of science’ expose the complexity of how authority was distributed in the support of science: Crosland, Maurice, ‘Pensions for “cultivators of science”’, Annals of Science (2010) 67, pp. 527559. Despite the maturity of Victorian science historiography, we still lack a focused analysis of the role of Queen Victoria – whether as agent or as symbol – in the making of the sciences under her reign.

6 Schomburgk, Robert H., ‘Diary of an ascent of the River Berbice, in British Guyana, in 1836–7’, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1837) 7, pp. 302350, 320. As later commentators have noted, other European explorers preceded Schomburgk's encounter with the lily. As Burnett has pointed out, in narrating his discovery Schomburgk essentially redeemed both his career and his struggling expedition. Burnett, D. Graham, Masters of All They Surveyed: Exploration, Geography, and a British El Dorado, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000, p. 82. Although founded as the ‘Geographical Society of London’ in 1830, after receiving royal patronage under William IV it added ‘Royal’ to the name. It did not receive its royal charter, however, until 1859. See Markham, Clements R., The Fifty Years’ Work of the Royal Geographical Society, London: John Murray, 1881.

7 Robert H. Schomburgk, Esqre, ‘Description of Nymphaea?’, enclosure to letter from R.H. Schomburgk to J. Washington, New Amsterdam, 11 May 1837, Schomburgk CB2, Archives of the Royal Geographical Society (subsequently RGS). A second copy of the description, as discussed further in this article, went to the Botanical Society of London, but I have been unable to determine whether it is still extant.

8 Schomburgk to Washington, New Amsterdam, 11 May 1837, Schomburgk CB2, RGS; see also ‘Victoria Regia’, in Lindley, John and Paxton, Joseph (eds.), Paxton's Flower Garden, London: Bradbury and Evans, 1850–1851, pp. 174175.

9 Hooker, William Jackson, ‘Victoria Regia’, Curtis's Botanical Magazine, 3rd Ser. (January 1846) 3(1), pp. 116.

10 Washington to Schomburgk, 1 August 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 133.

11 Schomburgk to Washington, New Amsterdam, 11 May 1837, Schomburgk CB2, RGS.

12 Schomburgk to Washington, Port Amora, River Essequibo, 14 September 1837, Schomburgk CB2, RGS.

13 Burnett, op. cit. (6), p. 79.

14 ‘Report of the Council at the General Meeting, May 16, 1836’, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1836) 6, pp. 3–16, 3.

15 ‘Report’, op. cit. (14), p. 8 (emphasis added), quoting a letter from Maconochie to Schomburgk dated 19 November 1834.

16 ‘Report’, op. cit. (14).

17 Rivière, Peter (ed.), The Guiana Travels of Robert Schomburgk, 1835–1844, Cambridge: The Hakluyt Society, 2006, p. 16; see also 229.

18 Schomburgk, Robert Hermann, ‘Report of an expedition into the interior of British Guyana’, Journal of the Royal Geographical Society (1836) 6, pp. 224284, 283; a fold-out reduction of the map was included in this report, between pages 284 and 285. See Burnett, op. cit. (6).

19 Burnett, op. cit. (6), pp. 112–113. Although his original announcement excluded ‘IV’ from William's title, it was added afterwards.

20 Schomburgk, op. cit. (18), p. 28.

21 Schomburgk to Washington, New Amsterdam, 11 May 1837, Schomburgk CB2, RGS.

22 See Annual Report and Proceedings of the Botanical Society (Edinburgh) (1838) 2, p. 67. For Victoria's patronages just before and after her succession to the throne, see The Royal Kalendar, London: T.C. Hansard, 1837; and The Royal Kalendar, London: T.C. Hansard, 1838. Also on this point, see Rivière, op. cit. (17), p. 231.

23 On the Botanical Society's audiences, see Allen, D.E., ‘The women members of the Botanical Society of London, 1836–1856’, BJHS (1980) 13, pp. 240254. Schomburgk elaborated on the challenges of preserving specimens in hostile tropical conditions: ‘Information respecting botanical travellers’, Annals of Natural History (1838) 1, pp. 56–68, 67. Burnett notes this was a common problem among colonial shipments: ‘Wardian cases opened at Kew stank of rot’; Burnett, op. cit. (6), p. 50. On the Linnean Society slights see Rivière, op. cit. (17), pp. 3–5.

24 For example Schomburgk, op. cit. (18).

25 Gray, J.E., ‘On the names of the Victoria Water Lily’, Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Ser. 2 (1850) 6, pp. 146147; Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, Annals and Magazine of Natural History, Ser. 2 (1850) 4, pp. 491–494.

26 Washington to Schomburgk, 1 August 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 133 (underlining in original).

27 Washington to Schomburgk, 1 August 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 133.

28 The most relevant correspondence and letters (a combination of autographs and copies) are held in archives among the Letter Books, Correspondence Blocks and Minute Books of the Royal Geographical Society and the Director's Correspondence of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. Although a few selected excerpts are quoted in Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), these are slightly edited and differ in places from the originals, which are the basis for the quotes herein.

29 Washington to J. Russell, 6 July 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 117; Council Minute Book, October 1830–July 1841, RGS, entry for 6 July 1837.

30 Council Minute Book, October 1830–July 1841, RGS, entry for 26 June 1837. The assignment was given to Sir John Barrow, the outgoing RGS president.

31 Council Minute Book, October 1830–July 1841, RGS, entry for 6 November 1837.

32 Council Minute Book, October 1830–July 1841, RGS, entry for 13 November 1837.

33 Schomburgk to Washington, New Amsterdam, 12 May 1837, Schomburgk CB2, RGS.

34 ‘Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (8), p. 175.

35 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 29 November 1850, DC vol. 29, f. 286, Archives of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (subsequently KEW). The house was located at 21 Regent Street, Westminster, London.

36 Lindley to Washington, London, 4 August 1837, Lindley CB2, RGS.

37 W.R. Hamilton to Sir H. Wheatley, 27 July 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 129.

38 The specification of the name Victoria regia apparently followed at Lindley's suggestion; on 4 August 1837 he wrote to Washington agreeing to publish ‘in a way to secure Her Majesty's plant the name I suggested’; Lindley to Washington, London, 4 August 1837, Lindley CB2, RGS. Wheatley's awareness of this preferred name in his reply on 29 July 1837 implies that a further communication was made to him after Hamilton's letter of 27 July 1837.

39 Wheatley to Hamilton, 29 July 1837, Wheatley CB2, RGS.

40 Victoria recorded, ‘Saw Sir F. Watson, Col. Cavendish, Sir Henry Wheatley, and Stockmar’; Queen Victoria's Journal (typescript version), entry for 29 July 1837, Buckingham Palace, RA/VIC/MAIN/QVJ/1837, Royal Archive, Windsor.

41 Washington to the secretary of the Botanical Society of London, 30 July 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, pp. 129–130.

42 Washington to Schomburgk, 1 August 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 133; Washington to Schomburgk, 15 August 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 142.

43 Cleevely, R.J., ‘Gray, John Edward (1800–1875)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, online edn, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, available at www.oxforddnb.com, accessed 5 October 2011.

44 Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), p. 494.

45 Schomburgk, Robert H., ‘Victoria Regina’, Proceedings of the Botanical Society of London (1839) 1, pp. 4446, 44. Nymphaea was the genus of other water lilies common to Europe, and Euryale the genus of the large, prickly water lily, Euryale ferox, indigenous to the East Indies.

46 Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), p. 494; Schomburgk, op. cit. (45), p. 44.

47 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, Director's Correspondence (subsequently DC), vol. 29, f. 285, KEW, underlining in original.

48 Washington to Schomburgk, 15 August 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 142.

49 Washington to Lindley, 3 August 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 138, emphasis added.

50 Lindley to Washington, London, 4 August 1837, Lindley CB2, RGS.

51 Washington to Schomburgk, 1 September 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 151.

52 Bateman, James, The Orchidaceæ of Mexico & Guatemala, London: J. Ridgway & Sons, 1837–1843. This work also bears a royal dedication, to the dowager Queen Adelaide. Bateman singles Lindley out among his acknowledgements for ‘the kindness which he has given in his invaluable advice and ready help in numerous instances’ (‘Preface’). See Frey, R.J., ‘James Bateman and orchid literature’, McAllen International Orchid Society Journal (2007) 8, pp. 513; and Blunt, Wilfred and Stearn, William T., The Art of Botanical Illustration: An Illustrated History, Mineola: Dover, 1994.

53 I thank Julia Buckley of the Library of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for providing the measurements of Lindley's folio and Hooker and Fitch's folio (see below).

54 Lindley to Hooker, London, 20 October 1837, DC, vol. 9, ff. 395–396, KEW. Lindley, John, A Notice of Victoria Regia, a New Nymphæaceæ Plant Discovered by Mr R.H. Schomburgk in British Guayana, London: Privately printed by W. Nichol, 1837. The Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library's copy of the work is bound together with a copy of Bateman's Orchidaceæ, acquired in this format for the library as part of the sale of John Lindley's personal collection in 1866. I thank Carol Westaway of the RHS Lindley Library for providing this information.

55 Schomburgk, Robert H., Twelve Views in the Interior of Guiana, London: Ackermann, 1841. For an analysis of Schomburgk's work as part of the broader geographical representational strategies of explorers' subscription folio volumes, see Burnett, op. cit. (6), pp. 119–165.

56 Lindley, op. cit. (54), dedicatory page.

57 Lindley to Washington, London, 3 November 1837, Lindley CB2, RGS; Schomburgk, op. cit. (6), p. 321, note; Washington to Schomburgk, 1 September 1837, Letter Book, 1836–1840, RGS, p. 151.

58 Lindley, op. cit. (54), p. 2.

59 Lindley, John, ‘Miscellaneous Notices: 13. Victoria Regia’, Edwards's Botanical Register, new ser. (1838) 11, pp. 914, 11; Hooker, op. cit. (9), p. 6.

60 Schomburgk, op. cit. (6), p. 321 n; see also the list of illustrations at p. iii, among which the lily is not included.

61 Schomburgk, op. cit. (6), p. 321 n.

62 ‘Scientific and literary: Botanical Society’, Athenaeum, London (9 September 1837) 515, p. 661.

63 ‘Report of the Proceedings of the British Association’, Athenaeum, London (16 September 1837) 516, pp. 671–672; ‘Seventh Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science’, Magazine of Zoology and Botany (October 1837) 2(10), pp. 370–384, 373–374 and Plate XII. The monthly numbers were also bound in annual volumes, leading to mistaken citations of publication dates. See Gray, ‘On the names’, op. cit. (25), p. 146 n. Unfortunately, Burnett also commits the error: Burnett, op. cit. (6), p. 149 n. 119.

64 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 284, KEW; Schomburgk, Robert H., ‘Dr. Robert H. Schomburgk's Description of Victoria Regina, Gray’, Magazine of Zoology and Botany (1837) 2(11), pp. 440442.

65 Gray to Jardine, 7 December 1837, William Jardine Papers, 2/38, Research Library, National Museums Scotland.

66 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 284, KEW.

67 Proceedings of the Botanical Society of London (1839) 1, pp. 1–3.

68 Proceedings, op. cit. (67).

69 Schomburgk, op. cit. (45), pp. 44–46; Allen, op. cit. (23), p. 253 n. 255; Warren R. Dawson, untitled typescript, Botanical Society of London Minute Book (1844–1851), MS 471 CASE 17B, Archives, Linnean Society of London.

70 This horticultural success story has been carefully chronicled by others. Hooker showed third in the race to bring the plant to full flower – the Duke of Devonshire's noted gardener, Joseph Paxton, scooping him by merely seven months in late 1849 (between 8 and 10 November), followed by the Duke of Northumberland's gardener John Ivison on 11 April 1850. Kew's success came on 20 June 1850. A comprehensive account of the background to the lily's discovery and cultivation, with extensive quotes from the original published scientific reports, but adopting the name Victoria regia over regina, is Lawson, George, The Royal Water-Lily of South America, and the Water-Lilies of Our Own Land: Their History and Cultivation, Edinburgh: John Hogg, 1851, esp. pp. 24–80. See also Darby, Margaret Flanders, ‘Joseph Paxton's Water Lily’, in Conan, Michael (ed.), Bourgeois and Aristocratic Cultural Encounters in Garden Art, 1550–1850, Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks, 2002, pp. 256283; on Paxton see Holway, Tatiana, The Flower of Empire: An Amazonian Water Lily, the Quest to Make It Bloom, and the World It Created, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2013.

71 Darby, op. cit. (70), p. 263.

72 Hooker to E. Turner, 5 August 1850, ff. 497–499, KEW.

73 Hooker, William Jackson and Fitch, Walter Hood, Victoria Regia, or Illustrations of the Royal Water-Lily, in a Series of Figures Chiefly Made from Specimens Flowering at Syon and at Kew, London: Bradbury & Evans, 1851. Announcement of the bloom at Kew is made on p. 20.

74 As Hooker explained, ‘we venture to place it in the genitive case (Reginæ), as was done by the learned Dryander in regard to the “Strelitzia Reginæ”’; ‘Botanical information’, Hooker's Journal of Botany and Kew Garden Miscellany (1850) 2, p. 314. Further on the Strelitzia, see note 79 below.

75 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 8 July 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 281, KEW, underlining in the original; see also Gray, ‘On the names’, op. cit. (25), p. 147. Gray was referring to the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, which superseded the Magazine of Zoology and Botany, in which the announcement first appeared. For the Athenaeum discrepancies see ‘Scientific and literary’, op. cit. (62), p. 661, and listing for ‘Schomburgk on the Victoria regia’, Athenaeum, London (1837), volume index, p. vii.

76 ‘Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (8), p. 175. Grammatically, Lindley favoured the adjectival form regia over the nominal form regina.

77 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 3 July 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 280, KEW. Underlining in the original.

78 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 3 July 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 280, KEW. Underlining in the original. It should be noted that, despite Gray's repeated emphasis of this point, he never produced documentation of this sanction.

79 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 8 July 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 281, KEW. In the case of the bird of paradise, Strelitzia reginae is given in Joseph Banks's and William Aiton's dedication of the plant to Queen Charlotte, consort to King George III and a princess of the House of Mecklenburg-Strelitz; see Aiton, William, Hortus Kewensis, 3 vols., London: George Nichol, 1789, vol. 1, p. 285; Desmond, Ray, Kew: The History of the Royal Botanic Gardens, London: Harvill Press, 1998, p. 80.

80 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 285, KEW.

81 Hooker to D. Turner, Kew, 5 December 1846, WJH/2/3, ff. 185–186, KEW. On Turner's botany see Secord, Anne, ‘Nature's treasures: Dawson Turner's botanical collections’, in Goodman, Nigel (ed.), Dawson Turner, Chichester: Phillimore, 2007, pp. 4366.

82 Sir Hooker, W.J., Description of Victoria Regia, or Great Water-Lily of South America, London: Reeve Brothers, 1847, Royal Library, Windsor Castle. The dedication is an autograph by Hooker on the first blank leaf of the folio.

83 Hooker to Turner, Kew, 5 December 1846, WJH/2/3, ff. 185–186, KEW; Hooker, op. cit. (82), title page. A more widely circulated allusion appeared in Lawson, op. cit. (70), p. 24.

84 Although Lindley was a sharp critic of the Linnaean system, as Endersby has argued it remained in popular usage in general periodicals precisely at this time. see Endersby, Jim, Imperial Nature: Joseph Hooker and the Practices of Victorian Science, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2008, p. 175.

85 Hooker to Turner, Kew, 14 December 1846, WJH/2/3, ff. 189–190, KEW.

86 Lindley to Hooker, London, 20 October 1837, DC, vol. 9, ff. 395–396, KEW, underlining in the original.

87 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 July 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 282, KEW.

88 Gray, ‘On the names’, op. cit. (25), p. 147.

89 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 July 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 282, KEW.

90 Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), p. 492.

91 Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), p. 491.

92 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 284, KEW; Gray, ‘On the names’, op. cit. (25). The editors in 1850 were P.J. Shelby, George Johnston, Charles C. Babington, J.H. Balfour, and Richard Taylor.

93 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 284, KEW, underlining in the original.

94 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 285, KEW, underlining in the original.

95 See Gray, ‘On the Names’, op. cit. (25), p. 147; and Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), p. 494.

96 Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), p. 494; emphasis added.

97 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 29 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 286, KEW.

98 Gray to Hooker, British Museum, 26 November 1850, DC, vol. 29, f. 285, KEW.

99 Lindley to Hooker, Horticultural Society, 10 November 1850, DC, vol. 30, f. 82, KEW.

100 ‘Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (8), p. 175.

101 Further on this theme in botany see Endersby, op. cit. (84), pp. 28–30, 262–269.

102 J.E. Gray, ‘On Victoria Regina’, Report of the … Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (1838) 6, p. 100.

103 ‘Seventh Meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science’, Magazine of Zoology and Botany (October 1837) 2(10), pp. 370–384, 374, emphasis added.

104 On the aristocratic character of the RGS, see Stafford, Robert A., Scientist of Empire: Sir Roderick Murchison, Scientific Exploration, and Victorian Imperialism, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, especially pp. 211–223; on deference within gift exchanges among artisan collectors and gentlemanly naturalists see Secord, Anne, ‘Corresponding interests: artisans and gentlemen in natural history exchange networks’, BJHS (1994) 27, pp. 383408.

105 Hugh Strickland to Charles Darwin, Tewkesbury, 31 January 1849, online version, Darwin Correspondence Database, www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-1216, accessed 20 September 2011, original emphasis; McOuat, Gordon, ‘Cataloguing power: delineating “competent naturalists” and the meaning of species in the British Museum’, BJHS (2001) 34, pp. 128. I thank Anne Secord for drawing my attention to this dimension to Gray's position in the wider nomenclature debates.

106 Scourse, Nicolette, The Victorians and Their Flowers, London: Croom Helm, 1983, p. 109.

107 Gray, ‘On Victoria Regia’, op. cit. (25), p. 494.

108 Prance, Ghillean T., ‘Victoria Amazonica ou Victoria Regia?’, Acta Botanica (1974) 4(3), pp. 58; Sowerby, J. de C., ‘On the names’, Annals and Magazine of Natural History (1850) 6, p. 310.

109 Secord, James A., ‘Extraordinary experiment: electricity in the creation of life in Victorian England’, in Gooding, David, Pinch, Trevor and Schaffer, Simon (eds.), The Uses of Experiment: Studies in the Natural Sciences, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1989, pp. 337384.

110 Secord, James A., Victorian Sensation: The Extraordinary Publication, Reception, and Secret Authorship of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 2000, p. 169.

111 ‘The gigantic water-lily (Victoria Regia), in flower at Chatsworth’, Illustrated London News, London, 17 November 1849, p. 328. On the domesticated wonder of Lord Rosse's mammoth telescope, unveiled in 1845 and consisting of a barrel fifty-two feet in length and a speculum six feet in diameter – large enough to contain the Parsons children and their governess – see Opitz, Donald L., ‘“So clever a photographer”: Mary Countess of Rosse and Victorian photographic science’, in Strbanova, Sona, Stamhuis, Ida H. and Mojsejova, Katerina (eds.), Women Scholars and Institutions: Studies in the History of Sciences and Humanities, Prague: Research Center for History of Science and Humanities, 2004, pp. 545564. On domestication as a particularly Victorian theme see Homans, Margaret, Royal Representations: Queen Victoria and British Culture, 1837–1876, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1998.

112 On the influence of Victoria regia in Paxton's design of the Crystal Palace see Darby, op. cit. (70), pp. 256–283; and Niesen, D., ‘Victoria Regia's bequest to modern architecture’, in Carpi, A. and Brebbia, C.A. (eds.), Design & Nature V: Comparing Design in Nature with Science and Engineering, Southampton: WIT Press, 2010, pp. 6576.

113 Cannon, Susan Faye, Science in Victorian Culture: The Early Victorian Period, New York: Science History Publications, 1978.

114 Further on the imperial context of botany in this period see Holway, op. cit. (70); Endersby, op. cit. (84); and Brockway, Lucille, Science and Colonial Expansion: The Role of the British Royal Gardens, New York: Academic Press, 1979.

115 Stearn, William T., ‘The self-taught botanists who saved the Kew Botanic Garden’, Taxon (1965) 14, pp. 293298.

116 Hooker, op. cit. (9), p. 2. Further on the background to Kew, and the role of Victoria amazonica in Kew affairs, see Desmond, op. cit. (79), especially pp. 184–187.

117 On physiological studies see, for example, Otto, Edward, ‘On the increase in temperature in the flowers of Victoria Regia’, Hooker's Journal of Botany and Kew Miscellany (1852) 4, pp. 6263. On the inspiration of the flower for modelling flora in wax see Shteir, Ann B., ‘“Fac-similes of Nature”: Victorian wax flower modelling’, Victorian Literature and Culture (2007) 35, pp. 649661.

The author gratefully acknowledges a faculty fellowship (2010–2011) granted by the DePaul Humanities Center for research funding. For assistance and permissions, the author thanks Andy McDougall, Research Library, National Museums Scotland; Ben Sherwood, Library, Linnean Society; Carol Westway and Elizabeth Gilbert, Royal Horticultural Society Lindley Library; Michèle Losse, Julia Buckley and Sarah Cox, Library, Art & Archives, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew; Daisy Cunynghame and Lisa Di Tommaso, Library & Archives, Natural History Museum; Sarah Strong, Archives, Royal Geographical Society; and staff of the Rare Books Department, University Library, University of Cambridge. The author acknowledges permission of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II for access and use of the Royal Archives and Royal Library, Windsor Castle. For questions and advice on earlier versions of the paper, the author kindly thanks Melanie Keene, Caitlyn Wylie, Anne Secord, James Secord, Jonathan Gross, James H. Murphy, James Wolfinger and the anonymous referees and editor of this journal.

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