Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron, a Victorian photographer, was born June 11, 1815. Raised in India, she married a jurist in Calcutta who was much older than she, and when he retired in 1848, they moved to England, eventually taking up residence in Kent. She moved in…

William Charles Wells

William Charles Wells, an American-born Scottish physician, was born May 24, 1757. Wells is hardly ever honored in anniversary notices like these because of the dearth of relevant graphic material–there is no known portrait of Wells, no gravestone, no blue plaque. He published hardly anything during his lifetime, and the posthumous publications do not include a single illustration…

Thomas Bell

Thomas Bell, an English zoologist, was born Oct. 11, 1792. In 1832, Bell began issuing in parts his Monograph of the Testudinata, a beautiful work on turtles, illustrated by none other than James de Carle Sowerby and Edward Lear. This is a work we do not have in our collections, so we show above a plate from the copy at the University of Glasgow Libraries (third image).

Richard Owen

Richard Owen, an English anatomist, was born July 20, 1804. Owen was a brilliant paleontologist, the English heir to the great Georges Cuvier in France. When Charles Darwin returned from the Beagle voyage in 1836 and was looking for someone to identify and describe the mammal fossils he had brought back, he settled on Owen, and he couldn’t have made a better choice…

James Bowerbank

James Bowerbank, a British naturalist, was born July 14, 1797. Bowerbank was one of scores of English naturalists who provided Charles Darwin with specimens, support, and information, and made it possible for Darwin to pursue his studies and eventually compose The Origin of Species in the relative isolation of his home in Downe…