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Barlow, Lady Emma Nora, 1885-1989 (née Darwin, botanist and geneticist)

 Person

Biography

Emma Nora Darwin was born in Cambridge on 22 December 1885, the third child and youngest daughter of Horace Darwin (1851–1928), civil engineer and manufacturer of scientific instruments, and his wife, Emma Cecilia (Ida) (1854-1946), daughter of Thomas Henry Farrer, first Baron Farrer. A granddaughter of the British naturalist Charles Darwin, Nora, as she was known, was educated at Levana School, a small private school in Wimbledon, from March 1902 to [March/April] 1904 before studying botany at Cambridge under the plant physiologist, Frederick Frost Blackman (1866–1947) and continuing her studies in the new field of genetics under William Bateson (1861-1926). Her primary research focus when working with Bateson was the crossing of trimorphic forms, such as plants of the genus Oxalis. Nora was an active member of the Cambridge University Genetics Society and subsequently followed Bateson to the newly formed John Innes Horticultural Institute in Merton, south-west London where she continued to work for a time in plant genetics. Following her marriage in 1911 and even after the birth of her six children (1912–1921), Nora continued to study the genetics of trimorphic species, visiting the John Innes Institute each summer until Bateson’s death in 1926 to examine the flowers that were grown for her there, and publishing the results of her work in 1913 and 1923. She was among the founders of the Genetical Society in 1919 and attended its meetings regularly. On 6 April 1911, Nora married the civil servant (James) Alan Noel Barlow (1881-1968), son of the Royal Physician, Sir Thomas Barlow and became Lady Barlow after her husband was knighted in 1938. They had six children: Joan Helen (26 May 1912), Thomas Erasmus (23 January 1914), Erasmus Darwin (15 April 1915), Andrew Dalmahoy (16 September 1916), Hilda Horatia (14 September 1919) and Horace Basil (8 December 1921). In 1933, Nora edited and published the first in a series of previously unseen examples of her grandfather’s work. These included ‘Charles Darwin’s Diary of the Voyage of HMS Beagle' (1933); ‘Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle’ (1946) - a collection of letters and notebooks from the voyage; ‘The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, 1809–1882’ (1958) - an unexpurgated version which had previously had personal and religious material removed by his son, Francis; ‘Darwin’s Ornithological Notes’ (1963) and ‘Darwin and Henslow: The Growth of an Idea’ (1967) – a collection of letters from 1831 to 1860. Nora Barlow died on 29 May 1989.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

 Sub-Series

BARLOW, Emma Nora, 1894-1946

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10286/1/8
Scope and Contents Contains almost 1400 letters, principally sent from Nora Barlow to her mother Ida Darwin, between 1894 and 1946. Includes a handful of letters from Horace, Erasmus and Ruth Darwin to Ida enclosed with letters from Nora, and very occasionally, letters sent from third parties to Nora and forwarded to Ida for interest.The letters contain news of Nora's children and in particular their health, school and social activities; accounts of holidays, weekends away and house parties; occasional...
Dates: 1894-1946
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Correspondence: Erasmus Darwin and opals, Apr. 1913-Jun 1914

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10286/2
Scope and Contents

Letters and related papers re purchase, valuation, disposal and sale of opals by Erasmus Darwin in 1913-1914. Includes a valuation and catalogue of the stones, and letters from Nora Barlow, Kenneth and Clive Cookson, Thomas McKenny Hughes, Frederick Stirling Newall and Margaret Newall, all of whom expressed an interest in acquiring some of the stones.

Dates: Apr. 1913-Jun 1914
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 File

Erasmus, Ruth and Nora Darwin, c.1887

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10286/6/2
Scope and Contents

Single studio portrait photograph of Erasmus, Ruth and Nora Darwin as young children, and single studio portrait photographs of Ruth and Nora.

Dates: c.1887
Conditions Governing Access: From the Fonds: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Ida Darwin: Correspondence and Papers II

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10286
Scope and Contents

Contains letters and papers held by Ida Darwin. The bulk of the collection are letters sent to Ida Darwin but also includes a small quantity sent to her husband Horace Darwin, a small collection of papers relating to the purchase of opals by her son Erasmus Darwin, a collection of envelopes addressed to and letters sent to Gwen Raverat, photographs of Ida's family, and a few items of ephemera.

Dates: 1862-1946
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Papers of Nora Barlow

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.8904
Scope and Contents Comprises: [1] Family correspondence; correspondence with her cousin, Gwen Raverat (née Darwin), 1903-50, her sons, Andrew Dalmahoy Barlow, Erasmus Darwin Barlow and Horace Basil Barlow, her daughter, Hilda Horatia Barlow and other members of the Barlow and Darwin familites; and general correspondence. The correspondence is arranged alphabetically and chronologically, with little detail about the content or subject-matter of the letters. [2] Early genetics research: notebooks,...
Dates: 1840-1970 (Circa)
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).
 Fonds

Ruth Darwin: correspondence and papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.9790
Scope and Contents

The collection consists primarily of letters from Ruth Darwin to members of her family but predominantly to her sister (Emma) Nora Darwin, and correspondence and papers arising out of Ruth's work with the British Committee of the French Red Cross in France in 1917-1919.

Dates: 1890-1944
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Additional filters:

Type
Archival Object 3
Collection 3
 
Subject
Family correspondence 2
Mental health 2
Mental health services 2
Personal papers 2
Social welfare 2