An enjoyable read on a historical figures in science theme, especially with powerful women at the center. Maria is truly an inspiration, and her absence from science education is a real tragedy. Maria's story is fascinating. The book is written in a textbook/novel format which I found irritating at times as the author flipped back and forth between weaving a story, and telling non-fictional anecdotes about what "may" have happened. Gorgeous illustrations, and a great story. Recommend reading along with Ship Fever, and Tulip Fever.
We have few personal records of Maria Sibylla Merian, except her art, which has survived for over 300 years. In the way of Jane Goodall, she was first to discover and illustrate how insects behave in their natural environment by actually leading her own solo expedition to Surinam when she was 52 - an activity uncommon in its time and outlandish for her sex. In her time some people still believed that some forms of life were self-generated in mud and rotting fruit because there was no widespread understanding of insect metamorphosis. This book includes prints and color plates that show her work. Read and celebrate the life of this outstanding woman.