BUCKLEY, Arabella Burton. 19113



Autograph Letter Signed ‘Arabella B.Fisher’, to “My dear Tussie”, news of family and friends, reading books on science, looking forward to reading ‘Modernism’ by Mr. Lilley, Cambridge Extension lectures, etc. 4 pp. 7 x 4 inches, fine. Betalands, Sidmouth, 26 February 1908. The uncommon autograph of Arabella Burton Buckley [married name Fisher], (1840-1929), popularizer of science and writer. From 1864 to 1875 she was secretary to Sir Charles Lyell, and was familiar with the leading scientists and scientific theories of her day. Her first book, A Short History of Natural Science (1876), was praised by Darwin. Buckley was one of a small number of nineteenth-century Darwinians who realized the deficiencies in Darwin’s thinking with regard to the development of moral qualities in the animal kingdom, set out in his discussion of ‘social instincts’ in The Descent of Man (1871). She wrote two other books, The Fairy-Land of Science (1879, and its sequel, Through Magic Glasses (1890). In Fairy-Land Buckley borrowed the language of fairy stories to show that the wonders of science not only paralleled but surpassed the wonders of fairyland. [ODNB]