May 6th, 1862 Frances wrote to her friend Miss Rigby, who had helped Frances think through some points in her writing. Miss Rigby was perhaps planning to have some printing done since Frances closed the letter with this: "I will enclose specimens of the women printers, they execute beautifully—Miss E. Faithfull and her female 'staff'—pray show them."
Emily Faithfull (1835-1895) worked for women's interests toward their improved status, employment and education. Most interested in the employment aspect, she was a member of the Society for Promoting the Employment of Women.
One occupation she felt was suitable for women was that of compositor (typesetter). This idea upset the London Printers Union which held that women did not have the intelligence or physical skill for that work.
Emily, nevertheless, set up the Victoria Press in London which soon gained a reputation for excellent work, so much so that Emily was appointed printer and publisher in ordinary to Queen Victoria.
Even Frances far north in Keswick was aware of that reputation.
In her collected letters, Frances Rolleston defended women's abilities as scientists. I'm sorry that Janet Taylor's name doesn't appear in Frances' letters, but perhaps Frances did not know the great contribution Janet made to navigation.
They might have been good friends. They shared a love of the starry heavens (Janet drew and published a Planisphere of the Stars), they were both Christians who honored the Creator, and they also lived in the same areas of London, though at different times.
One of Janet's great contributions to the safety of sailing vessels was to adjust ships' compasses to overcome deviations due to the increasing use of iron in ship building. She developed instruments to improve navigation and diligently corrected charts to reflect newfound hazards throughout the world.
This is one biography I thoroughly enjoyed reading.
Click on the image to go to the Amazon page.
November 15, 1738 William Herschel was born. Although his accomplishments in astronomy range beyond this, he is most remembered as the discoverer of the planet Uranus.
Frances Rolleston liked to point out, however, that the true discoverer was not William but his sister Caroline. As an artist and writer, Frances was sensitive to the prejudice against women's accomplishments.
"Caroline Herschel discovered the Uranus, Mrs. Somerville has written well on science, but still a woman's name is a great detriment to any work except a novel." (1862)
"Remember Caroline Herschel's discovery of the Uranus, by mapping out the stars of Virgo, and, said her brother, 'one too many,'—she persevered, and he was convinced. Many a lively anecdote have I had of that pair, from her German friends, how she got up at 8 p.m. and made short breakfast, and after that both flanneled up for the midnight happy occupation, and went to bed at morning dawn." (1863)
Here is an article on Herschel that gives more credit to Caroline than we usually hear of.