Dissertation inspires Murphy’s latest effort

Dissertation inspires Murphys latest effort

Dissertation inspires Murphy’s latest effort

Samantha Freeland

The recently published book, In Science’s shadow: Literary Construction of Late Victorian Women, written by Dr. Patricia Murphy, associate professor of English and philosophy at Missouri Southern, focuses on the roles of Victorian women through the eyes of science and how that played a role in the literary work of that time.

“I chose this topic, because I have always closely worked with the literary works of the Victorian ages, and I found science literary a fascinating topic,” Murphy said. “The cultural views of women of that time were bound up with scientific perspectives.”

The book takes a closer look at some of the literary works of the Victorian time that viewed women through a scientific perception. One of the novels that In Science’s Shadow describes is memoirs that follow a botanist and painter, Marianne North. Another novel focuses on a relationship of a woman who falls in love with an astronomer.

“Women closely involved in science would emerge their persona in their memoirs or even their scientific works,” Murphy said.

Murphy said she started writing books, because she found the prospect of developing a book interesting.

“I never had my heart set on writing a book,” Murphy said. “When I was working on my dissertation, I found the work challenging and enjoyable.

“I discovered this subject while writing my dissertation, and I wanted to do more work in the area, so I chose this for the focus of my book.” Murphy said.

The book was published by the University of Missouri Press in December 2006. Dr. Murphy also has another book published, Time is of the Essence, which focuses on the gender roles of women.