Considering the Source of Elizabeth Blackwell’s ‘A Curious Herbal’

  • Online event
Janet Tyson appearing on a video call on a laptop, she has short shoulder-length hair and is wearing a yellow top with three pictures and a green plate hanging on a white wall behind her. On the table around the laptop is a succulent plant and a pot of colouring pencils against a green wall.
Janet Tyson, Photo: Thomas S.G. Farnetti. Source: Wellcome Collection. Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0).

What you’ll do

Join Janet Tyson as she outlines both the origins of and explanatory texts in ‘A Curious Herbal’ (1737 and 1739) by Elizabeth Blackwell (1707–58). Wellcome Collection owns copies of the two books, both by apothecaries, on which Blackwell’s ‘A Curious Herbal’ is based: the ‘Pharmacopoeia Londinensis’ (1721) by John Quincy and the ‘Botanicum Officinale’ (1722) by Joseph Miller.

Elizabeth Blackwell and her book have more recently become topics of popular interest. Tyson will present a brief critique of what has been written about Blackwell, as well as a comparative analysis of Wellcome Collection’s copy of ‘A Curious Herbal’. After the talk, you will have the opportunity to ask questions.  

About your speaker

Photograph of Janet Tyson

Janet Tyson

Janet Tyson is a PhD candidate in Early Modern History at Birkbeck, University of London. Her research addresses the social and bibliographic history of ‘A Curious Herbal’, the first herbal to be produced by a woman.   



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