Marianne North


Painter and traveller. In the 1870s, visited Canada, the US, Jamaica, Brazil, California, Japan, Borneo, Java, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), and India. Presented her collection of paintings to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, for display in a gallery designed, furnished, and financed by herself. Visited Australia and New Zealand in 1880, South Africa and the Seychelles in 1882–3, and Chile in 1884–5.

Sources: ODNB (See the bibliography for full references to sources)

Further Information:

Marianne North (1830-1890) was a traveller and botanical artist. She was born in Hastings in 1830 and during her life traveled to Canada, the United States, Jamaica, Brazil, Japan, Singapore, Borneo, Java, India and Australia. North was well-respected by Sir Joseph Hooker and 832 of her paintings hang in the Marianne North Gallery at Kew Gardens. Her three volume autobiography, Recollections of a Happy Life, was published posthumously.

Darwin wrote North on 2 August 1881 to tell her that he is pleased to have seen her Australian pictures, and to comment upon their vividness.

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Primary Sources:

Darwin Correspondence Database,

Darwin Correspondence Database,

North, Marianne.  Recollections of a happy life: being the autobiography of Marianne North . 2d ed. London: Macmillan, 1892.

Secondary Source:

Middleton, Dorothy. ‘North, Marianne (1830–1890)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 []