The Wasp and the Orchid

Danielle Clode

The Wasp and the Orchid
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The Wasp and the Orchid

Danielle Clode

Shortlisted for the National Biography Award 2019

‘An engaging…vividly created window onto the life of an impressive woman and her times.’ - Sydney Morning Herald

Have you met Mrs Edith Coleman? If not you must - I am sure you will like her - she’s just A1 and a splendid naturalist.

In 1922, a 48-year-old housewife from Blackburn delivered her first paper, on native Australian orchids, to the Field Naturalist’s Club of Victoria.

An avid gardener, self-taught former schoolteacher Edith Coleman went on to become the foremost female naturalist and nature writer of her generation. She kept echidnas at the breakfast table, and arachnids in the bedroom. She travelled across Australia in pursuit of its flora and fauna and even corrected Charles Darwin. Yet today she is almost entirely forgotten, save by a handful of scientists and naturalists.

In a twenty-year quest, award-winning writer and zoologist Danielle Clode set out to uncover Edith’s story, bringing her celebration of Australian nature and landscape back into the light where it belongs.

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