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Mary Elizabeth (née Horner), Lady Lyell

(1808-1873), Geologist and conchologist; wife of Sir Charles Lyell, 1st Bt; Daughter of Leonard Horner

Sitter associated with 3 portraits
Lyell's contributions as a conchologist and geologist were overlooked in her own lifetime, but the impact on her husband, Charles Lyell's research has been reassessed and is acknowledged today. In 1954 she undertook extensive research into land snails on the Canary Islands. The approach of her work has drawn comparisons with Charles Darwin's research into natural selection on the Galapagos Islands and she is known to have sourced barnacles for Darwin's research. Lyell accompanied her husband on research trips, cataloguing specimens, creating geological illustrations and acting as a scribe when his eyesight began to deteriorate. A crater on Venus is named Horner in her honour.

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Mary Elizabeth (née Horner), Lady Lyell, by Horatio Nelson King - NPG x46569

Mary Elizabeth (née Horner), Lady Lyell

by Horatio Nelson King
albumen carte-de-visite, 1860s
NPG x46569

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