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Marianne North at her easel, circa 1883 Featured Images Dated Image

Marianne North at her easel, circa 1883

Photograph of Marianne North (1830-1890), botanical artist, pictured here in Grahamstown, South Africa circa 1883.
Marianne North generally travelled unaccompanied, an extraordinary feat for a Victorian lady, only occasionally using letters of introduction to enable her to stay with the associates of those she met on her travels. Between 1871 and 1879, she visited Canada, the United States, Jamaica, Brazil, Japan, Sarawak, Singapore, Java, Sri Lanka and India. In 1880, Marianne met Charles Darwin, whom she regarded as the greatest man living, the most truthful as well as the most unselfish and modest'. On his suggestions, she set off on a further voyage, this time encompassing Australia and New Zealand. In 1882 she visited Africa, the final continent left unrepresented in her work

© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

The Wardian case, ca 1940- 1950 Featured Images Dated Image

The Wardian case, ca 1940- 1950

Image of a horticulturalist packing plants into a Wardian Case ready for transportation. The Wardian case was a portable airtight greenhouse developed by Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward to protect live plant material during transportation. The Wardian case was a portable airtight greenhouse developed by Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward (1791-1868). As he lived in the docklands area of London, Ward's interest in amateur botany was thwarted by the polluted, sooty air that killed everything he tried to grow. After noticing that seedlings flourished in a glass jar and were protected from London's smoky environment, Ward created the Wardian Case; it revolutionised botany in the 19th century, allowing live plants to be transported across the globe

© The Board of Trustees of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew