London: Dulau & Co., 1896. First edition. From the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London (Vol. 187, B, 1896): pages 83-345. Complete, including all 75 in text figures and the folding table. Disbound but with spine attached and holding. All edges marbled. Originating from a shorter paper read at and published by the Royal Society in 1895, the present work is the first appearance of Ogilvie's full research report on corals. The only copy on the market, this cutting edge scientific work by a female scientist appears at only two institutions according to OCLC, and none in the U.S.
Four years before becoming the first woman to obtain a PhD in geology, Maria Ogilvie presented and published her works on the multitudinous varieties of Madreporarian corals. Ogilvie's task was a difficult one, given the variable skeletal structures of coral, which prevent the "possibility of accurately defining the limits of the 'species" (British Museum). She nontheless made a major contribution by providing an expansive account that "brings forward the most important contributions, zoological and paleontological, to the study of the origin, the microscopic structure, and morphology of the Madreporarian skeleton," providing researchers with a comprehensive guide to recent discoveries in the field.
Ogilvie's education began during her childhood in the Scottish Highlands, where her brother, the geologist Sir Francis Ogilvie, accompanied her on exploratory trips and encouraged her scientific interests. A graduate of the Merchant Company Schools' Ladies College in Edinburgh, she went on to earn a degree in geology, botany, and zoology in 1890. "Maria Ogilvie hoped to follow up her studies in Germany, but in 1891, despite a recommendation from the famous geologist Baron Ferdinand Freiherr von Richthofen, she was rejected from the University of Berlin, [where] women were, like England, still not permitted to enroll in higher education" (Bressan). She continued to work under private tutelage until being allowed to enter the university at Munich and earn her doctorate. She once wrote of her experiences "When I began my fieldwork, I was not under the eye of any Professor. There was no one to include me in his official round of visits among young geologists in the field, and subject my maps and sections to tough criticism on the ground. The lack of supervision at the outset was undoubtedly a serious handicap." Persevering nonetheless, Ogilvie became the President of the National Council of Women of Great Britain, in addition to an honorary member of both the Vienna and London Geological Societies and a Lyell Medalist. Despite having never been given a salaried or faculty position, Ogilvie's work as an independent scholar transformed how corals and dolomites were studied (Creese).
OCLC 1031962740. (Item #2804)