Today, September 22, 2017, is autumn equinox. One might think of equinox as one point on a continuum. The three paragraphs here have to do with continuation.
From the autumn equinox, the sun continues its path southward and the daylight hours continue to shrink until the next solstice. Frances Rolleston mentioned the spring equinox a number of times in her letters. She understood the workings of calendars—their history and how to change dates from one system to another—all beyond me.
September 22, 1791 Michael Faraday was born in London. He became a physicist and discovered electro-magnetic induction, thus continuing the many scientific discoveries of the 19th century. Frances was interested in all manner of science, but I do not know how acquainted she was with Faraday's work although, he associated with Humphry Davy, whom Frances knew. Some years earlier, Luigi Galvani had worked with electricity with an interest in benefiting the human body. At one time Frances allowed herself to be "Galvanized" in order to heal her chilblains. This appears to be her only "contact" with electricity.
September 22, 1863 Frances wrote to her niece who was about to be married. Frances mentioned her pleasant recollections of the niece's lively and interesting childhood, and wished this new season of life to be an even happier continuation of the sunny one she remembered with so much pleasure.
November 25, 1863
FR has been promoted to the dignity of great aunt by the birth of her nephew's first child. This nephew, George Rolleston, son of FR's brother George, is a professor at Oxford. Mother of the child is Grace Davy.
George and Grace have named the child Humphry Davy after Grace's uncle, Sir Humphry Davy. This is particularly pleasing to FR because she was acquainted with Sir Humphrey in his youth, and she is always happy to speak of her acquaintances with scientific men.
And Humphry Davy was certainly a scientific man. He is credited with the discovery in 1808 of magnesium, calcium, strontium and barium through his experiments with electrolysis. He must also have been an enthusiastic person. Grace's father and Humphry's brother Dr. John Davy, reported that when Humphry separated potassium, he danced around, delirious with joy at his discovery.
FR admits she is proud that this child will advance Humphry Davy's name in the world.