How Mrs Farquharson Triumphed but Was Excluded from a Glittering Occasion

  • Peter Ayres
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Science and Technology book series (PSHST)


In girlhood Marian Ridley developed an interest in ferns and mosses. Well connected by birth and marriage (her husband, Robert Farquharson, owned huge estates in Aberdeenshire), she was in adulthood haughty, disliked by some women, but confident enough to challenge the Linnean Society. In 1904, she and her male supporters eventually persuaded the Linnean to admit female fellows, but she herself was blackballed. She was excluded from celebrations which involved a grand dinner in Piccadilly where Mary Russell, Duchess of Bedford, spoke for the new female fellows. Ill health dogged Farquharson’s life and she died before she could take up a fellowship when it was finally offered.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Ayres
    • 1
  1. 1.Lancaster UniversityLancasterUK

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