In 1924, Virginia Woolf wrote a short story based upon the life of Eleanor Ormerod. A wealthy spinster, Ormerod achieved notoriety in late nineteenth-century Britain as an economic entomologist. In 1904, Nature compared her to Caroline Herschel and Mary Somerville. In terms of recent scholarship devoted to the history of women in science, Ormerod's career differed markedly from that of her two predecessors. The emotional or intellectual support of a brother, husband, father, or male family relation made no considerable contribution to her commitment to the study of entomology. Furthermore, her life as an independent spinster offered no positive proof for Francis Power Cobbe's dictum: as she aged, Eleanor Ormerod showed no tendency to become a ‘women's rights woman’. She publicly accepted or internalized the dominant, masculine ideology of science; and by contemporary standards, she achieved success.