The texts, created by Anne Wollstonecraft, contain not only fantastic scientific renderings of botanist specimens, but also notes about what the plants were used for and what their names meant:
- For example, she notes that roots from the soursop tree were used as a fish poisoning antidote, and its leaves as an antiparasitic and antiepileptic. She also suggests that "soursop" comes from a phonetic approximation of the island’s indigenous inhabitants’ name for the tree, suir sach, which could help explain a paradoxical moniker for a fruit described as sickly sweet.
This work is compared to that of Maria Sibylla Merian, who in 1705 published a book that contributed a great deal of knowledge to the field of entomology. The hope is to be able to publish the work in English and a Spanish translation, as well as to have the original on display at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Definitely worth a click through to the article to see the illustrations.