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A Diversity of Interests

A Diversity of Interests


(p.303) Chapter 13 A Diversity of Interests
Pure Intelligence
Melvyn C. Usselman
University of Chicago Press

This chapter discusses Wollaston’s friendship with Julia Hankey and his trip with her family through continental Europe in 1816, as well as a description of his interactions with three prominent female authors, Jane Marcet, Mary Somerville and Maria Edgeworth. Mention is also made of the closing of the platinum business in 1820 due to the loss of platina supply. Wollaston’s role in the discovery of electromagnetic rotation by Michael Faraday is described, as is the resulting unpleasantness surrounding Faraday’s election to the Royal Society. The chapter also discusses Wollaston’s study of the sharp onset of high frequency hearing loss and his own incidences of half-field vision loss known as hemianopsia and fortification spectra, which were likely connected with unrecognized migraine attacks.

Keywords:   William Hyde Wollaston, Julia Hankey, Jane Marcet, Mary Somerville, Maria Edgeworth, electromagnetic rotation, high frequency hearing loss, hemianopsia, fortification spectra, migraine

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