Title

“Not merely wifely devotion”: Collaborating in the Construction of Science at Terling Place

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

In this chapter I critique the literary construction of the scientific practice of John Strutt, Third Baron Rayleigh as a solitary pursuit within a domain separated from family life, and I analyze, instead, the science of his home, Terling Place, as a collaboration with his wife Evelyn Strutt, Baroness Rayleigh. As opposed to judging the character of their marital collaboration anachronistically through a professional lens, I analyze Terling science within the context of late-Victorian country-house society characterized by an aristocratic, evangelical-Anglican orientation. This case demonstrates how collaboration can be an unstable construct reliant upon the meanings imbued by the historical subjects and their discursive representations.