The Unforgotten Sisters

Female Astronomers and Scientists before Caroline Herschel

  • Gabriella Bernardi

Part of the Springer Praxis Books book series (PRAXIS)

Also part of the Popular Astronomy book sub series (POPULAR)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxvi
  2. Timelines from Enheduanna to Sonduk

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 3-7
    3. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 9-15
    4. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 17-22
    5. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 23-26
    6. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 27-36
    7. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 37-41
  3. Timelines from Fatima to Jeanne Dumée

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 43-43
    2. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 45-48
    3. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 49-54
    4. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 55-60
    5. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 61-66
    6. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 75-79
  4. Timelines from Maria Margarethe Winkelmann-Kirch to Nicole-Reine Étable de la Brière Lepaute

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 81-81
    2. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 83-88
    3. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 97-101
    4. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 115-120
  5. Timelines from Louise Elisabeth Félicité Pourra de la Madeleine Du Piérry to Mary Fairfax-Somerville

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 129-129
    2. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 135-150
    3. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 151-154
    4. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 155-158
    5. Gabriella Bernardi
      Pages 163-170
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 171-179

About this book


Taking inspiration from Siv Cedering’s poem in the form of a fictional letter from Caroline Herschel that refers to “my long, lost sisters, forgotten in the books that record our science”, this book tells the lives of twenty-five female scientists, with specific attention to astronomers and mathematicians. Each of the presented biographies is organized as a kind of "personal file" which sets the biographee’s life in its historical context, documents her main works, highlights some curious facts, and records citations about her. The selected figures are among the most representative of this neglected world, including such luminaries as Hypatia of Alexandra, Hildegard of Bingen, Elisabetha Hevelius, and Maria Gaetana Agnesi. They span a period of about 4000 years, from En HeduAnna, the Akkadian princess, who was one of the first recognized female astronomers, to the dawn of the era of modern astronomy with Caroline Herschel and Mary Somerville. The book will be of interest to all who wish to learn more about the women from antiquity to the nineteenth century who played such key roles in the history of astronomy and science despite living and working in largely male-dominated worlds.


Caroline Herschel Elisabetha Hevelius En HeduAnna Female Astronomers Book Female Mathematicians Hildegard of Bingen Hypatia of Alexandria Lives of Female Scientists Maria Gaetana Agnesi Mary Somerville

Authors and affiliations

  • Gabriella Bernardi
    • 1
  1. 1.TorinoItaly

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages Physics and Astronomy
  • Print ISBN 978-3-319-26125-6
  • Online ISBN 978-3-319-26127-0
  • Buy this book on publisher's site
Industry Sectors
Energy, Utilities & Environment
Oil, Gas & Geosciences