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Conversations on chemistry: in which the elements of that science are familiarly explained and illustrated by experiments and plates: to which are added, some late discoveries on the subject of the fixed alkalies, 1813

This book provides an introduction to chemistry meant for middle class women, who typically had limited science education and exposure to chemistry. Davy called upon Marcet, a frequent attendee of his public demonstrations on chemistry, to explain complicated chemical concepts in informal, common language. Sir Humphry Davy was a friend of Mary Shelley's father, William Godwin, whose home attracted many intellectuals of the time. Shelley recorded in her diary that she was reading Davy's Elements of chemical philosophy when she was writing Frankenstein: or, the Modern Prometheus (1818).

Courtesy National Library of Medicine

Title page of a book.
  • Topic:

  • Creator:

    Humphry Davy (1778–1829),
    Jane Haldimand Marcet (1769–1858)