Dr Roslyn Russell ‘Partners in the ‘Business of Nature’: John and Elizabeth Gould.’

You are here

Thursday, 20 April 2017 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm

For eleven years between 1829 and Elizabeth Gould's untimely death in 1841, she and her husband John worked together to document and illustrate bird and mammal species across several regions of the world. In 1838 they began a two-year visit to Australia, where John documented its fauna while Elizabeth drew sketches, including some of native vegetation to serve as settings for the illustrations of birds and animals that would be produced as lithographic prints and ultimately published as The Birds of Australia and The Mammals of Australia. While John Gould's name is well known in Australia, notably through its adoption for the Gould League of Bird Lovers, his wife Elizabeth's contribution to his scientific and financial success has been less well known. This talk will explore the personal and professional partnership that set John Gould on the path to scientific acclaim and business success in Britain throughout a large portion of the nineteenth century.
Dr Roslyn Russell is an historian and museum consultant who lives and works in Canberra. She holds a Masters Honours degree in History from the University of Sydney and a Doctorate in English from the University of New South Wales. She is the author, co-author and editor of books and articles on Australian and Caribbean history and museology, and has written one novel, Maria Returns: Barbados to Mansfield Park (2014). Her books include The Business of Nature: John Gould and Australia (2011) and, most recently, High Seas & High Teas: Voyaging to Australia (2016), both published by the National Library of Australia.