A Chemical Passion

The forgotten story of chemistry at British independent girls' schools, 1820s–1930s

by Marelene Rayner-Canham, Geoff Rayner-Canham

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781782771883
  • 9781782771920
  • 9781782771937
Chemistry is traditionally thought to have been a masculine subject in secondary schools – one at which boys excelled and girls had limited interest. In this groundbreaking work Marelene and Geoff Rayner-Canham reveal that from the 1820s to the 1930s chemistry teaching flourished in girls’ independent schools in Britain. Working in well-equipped labs, generations of inspirational teachers imparted a lasting fascination for the subject in their pupils, many of whom became teachers or professional chemists themselves. For a variety of reasons that the authors investigate, this tradition tailed off before the Second World War, and a proud history was forgotten even in the schools where it had once flourished. The fruit of years of research in the archives of dozens of schools, the authors present a rich and multifaceted account that reveals the hidden history of a landmark achievement in the education of women.

  • UCL Institute of Education Press; February 2017
  • ISBN: 9781782771920
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF or secure ePub format
  • Title: A Chemical Passion
  • Author: Marelene Rayner-Canham; Geoff Rayner-Canham
  • Imprint: UCL IOE Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9781782771883
  • 9781782771920
  • 9781782771937

In The Press

'This book has all the strengths of a study that sets out to recover marginalized voices and a ‘forgotten story’. It brings to light evidence, narratives and developments which otherwise would not be seen and in so doing enriches historical analysis. [...] There is much here that will be of considerable interest and value to women’s historians, historians of gender, historians of science and historians of education more broadly.'