Dame Katharine Furse handwritten letters to Sir Gavin Rylands de Beer with photographs
- approximately 1941-1945
- Furse, Katharine, 1875-1952 (Person)
Conditions Governing Access
.167 Cubic Feet (1 legal sized folder)
Biographical / Historical
Although considered a great success as head of the Voluntary Aid Detachment, Furse was unhappy about her lack of power to introduce reforms, which ultimately lead to the eventual resignation of her and several colleagues in 1917. Furse was then offered the post as Director of the Women's Royal Naval Service (WRNS).
In 1920 formed the Association of Wrens and this led to Furse becoming head of the Sea Rangers and for ten years was director of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. Her autobiography, Hearts and Pomegranates was published in 1940. Furse died in London on 25th November, 1952.
Sources: Simkin, J. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2018, from https://spartacus-educational.com/Wfurse.htm.
Volunteers during the First World War. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2018, from https://vad.redcross.org.uk/Volunteers-during-WW1.
Biographical / Historical
After serving in the military, de Beer returned to Oxford where he studied under Edwin Goodrich. He graduated in 1922, and stayed on as a fellow of Merton College and to teach in the Zoology Department. While at Oxford, de Beer authored his first major work, An Introduction to Experimental Embryology, published in 1926. In 1930 he released another book, Embryos and Ancestors. This book “contained de Beer’s ideas about his developmental theory of evolution, which combined Mendelian genetics with Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection” (Kearl, 2010). Together with fellow scientist Julian S. Huxley, de Beer published The Elements of Experimental Embryology in 1934, “which combined the work of the two authors with Hans Spemann’s organizer concept and Charles Manning Child’s concept of axial gradients to better explain the process of development” (Kearl, 2010).
In 1938 de Beer moved to University College, London, and became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1940. During World War II de Beer again served in the military, “working in intelligence and propaganda” (Kearl, 2010). After the war, De Beer returned to London where he was Professor of Zoology at University College. He also served as president of the Linnaean Society from 1946 until 1949.
De Beer headed many important societies and organizations, including a ten year term as Director of the British Museum of Natural History and serving as president of the Fifteenth International Congress of Zoology in 1958. He was knighted in 1954. De Beer “retired from his position at the Museum of Natural History as well as his other academic posts in 1960 to dedicate his full attention to writing about the life and work of Charles Darwin, evolution—and Switzerland and the Alps” (Kearl, 2010). He died in 1972.
Sources: Barrington, E. (1973). Gavin Rylands de Beer. 1899-1972. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 19, 65-93. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/769556.
Kearl, M. (2010, June 02). The Embryo Project Encyclopedia. Retrieved October 4, 2018, from https://embryo.asu.edu/pages/gavin-rylands-de-beer-1899-1972.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
3400 N Charles St
Baltimore MD 21218 USA