Martha Maxwell, Rocky Mountain Naturalist : This highly enjoyable and well-researched biography of Martha Maxwell will interest historians of the American West, natural history, the women's movement, and education. Maxwell devoted her life to taxidermy, which she thought of 'as a fine art, subservient to science.' A childhood love of animals developed into a hobby and then, to her daughter's and husband's distress, a consuming, but never lucrative profession. Maxwell's collections were not properly tended after her death, but her contributions were memorialized during her life by the great ornithologist Robert Ridgway who named a new race of screech owl Scops asio maxwelliae or Mrs. Maxwell's owl. Maxine Benson's lively biography, rich with period photographs, is a second tribute to this remarkable nineteenth-century woman.
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