Thereza Mary Story-Maskelyne

1834–1926

Welsh botanist, astronomer, and experimental photographer. A granddaughter of the naturalist Lewis Weston Dillwyn, and daughter of the photographer John Dillwyn Llewelyn. Supplied climate data to the British Association for the Advancement of Science. Married Mervyn Herbert Nevil Story-Maskelyne, professor of Mineralogy, University of Oxford, in 1858. Mother of three daughters, including the educator and gardener Thereza, Lady Rucker.

Sources: Morton 1987 ODNB s.v. Llewelyn, John Dillwyn, and Rucker, Thereza Charlotte. (See the bibliography for full references to sources)

Further information

Thereza Story-Maskelyne nee Llewelyn (1834-1926) was the daughter of John Dillwyn Llewelyn, the first photographer in Wales. Like her father, Thereza enjoyed photography; she helped her father with his scientific endeavours, including his photographic experiments. As a youth she also conducted botanic experiments, even receiving aid from George Bentham. Additionally, she maintained meteorological records from her father’s weather station.

She was married to English geologist and politician Nevil Story-Maskelyne in June 1858. Her husband was supportive of her scientific endeavours: he even wrote to John Lubbock to ask if Darwin would be willing to send Thereza copies of  two texts for use in her botanical studies. Darwin responded to this request and sent the Maskelynes a couple memoirs, as evidenced by a thank you note Nevil Maskelyne sent on behalf of his wife, who was an invalid at the time. Thereza wrote about both photography and astronomy. Darwin was aware of observations she made of her canary and siskin attacking flowers: he cited her observations in an 1874 Nature article.

Relevant Gender Resources:

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/women-and-science

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/womens-scientific-participation

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/gender-and-scientific-participation

http://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/scientists-wives

 

 

Primary Sources:

Darwin Correspondence Database, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-8091

Darwin Correspondence Database, https://www.darwinproject.ac.uk/entry-8100

Darwin, C. R. 1874. Flowers of the primrose destroyed by birds. Nature. A Weekly Illustrated Journal of Science 10 (14 May): 24-25. http://darwin-online.org.uk/converted/published/1874_primrose2_F1771.html

 

Secondary Sources:

Brück, Mary. Women in early British and Irish astronomy: stars and satellites. Dordrecht [Netherlands]: Springer, c2009.

Early Swansea Photography. Llyfrgell Genedlaethol Cymru: The National Library of Wales: Aberystwyth. http://www.llgc.org.uk/fga/fga_s01.htm

Pritchard, Michael.“Exclusive: British Library secures Dillwyn Llewelyn/Story-Maskelyne photographic archive.” British Photographic History. ⟨http://britishphotohistory.ning.com/profiles/blogs/exclusive-british-library-secures-dillwyn-llewelyn-storey-maskely⟩.