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68023

Elizabeth Blackwell

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Elizabeth Blackwell, born Elizabeth Blachrie (c. 1707 – 1758) was a Scottish botanical artist. She married Alexander Blackwell, her cousin, and moved with him around Europe. After he was involved in several legal issues regarding his potentially-unlawful medical practice, they were out of money and work. She took advantage of the fact that a herbal — or informational book documenting the scientific facts of medicinal plants — was needed in the field, so she illustrated a book named A Curious Herbal with the help of her husband and of curator Isaac Rand. The book had decent success, including raising enough money to get her husband out of debtor’s prison, but much of Elizabeth’s success in her later years is unknown. Her main accolade is that she was the first woman to ever produce a herbal, and the first woman to do the engravings for her own illustrations.

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