Thursday, 4 April 2013

The Scientist in The Cottage

Museum visitors are often keen to take away a souvenir of an exhibition. This 40-page booklet is an informative guide to the life and achievements of Budleigh scientist Henry John Carter FRS, the main subject of Fairlynch Museum’s 2013 exhibition ‘Sea, Salt and Sponges.’ Based largely on material from 19th century journals it offers some interesting insights into the Victorian era in which he lived.  

There are sections on Carter’s medical career, on his time in southern Arabia, his work in geology and especially his research into sponges for which he is justly celebrated. Much admired by Darwin for his research Carter returned to his home town of Budleigh Salterton after twenty years as a doctor in India. He settled in the family home of The Cottage on Fore Street Hill, better known today as Umbrella Cottage.

With a useful timeline to Carter’s life and fascinating images, many in colour and never previously published, the booklet written by Fairlynch Museum’s Michael Downes is an attractive bicentennial tribute to one of Devon’s great scientists  which contributes usefully to the history of the county. It is on sale for £3.50 with all profits benefiting Fairlynch Museum. 

The Scientist in The Cottage is available at the following outlets:

Best Books, Exmouth Tel: 01395 272888
Fairlynch Museum, Budleigh Salterton Tel: 01395 442666
Paragon Books, Sidmouth Tel: 01395 514516
The Card Shop Too, Budleigh Salterton Tel: 01395 446767
The Tourist Information Centre, Budleigh Salterton. Tel: 01395 445275

To order by post please send a cheque payable to Fairlynch Museum for £4.50 including UK postage to: Primrose Publications, Heather Cottage, 9 Exmouth Road, Budleigh Salterton, Devon  EX9 6AF 
Tel: + 44(0)1395 446407  Email: 
Below are some of the colour illustrations used in the booklet:

Budleigh Salterton in 1868: a watercolour painting by the amateur geologist Arthur Wyatt Edgell (1837-1911)


An illustration from Philip Henry Gosse's British Sea-Anemones and Corals (1860)

The sponge Coelocarteria singaporensis, named after Henry Carter
Image credit: Gary C. Williams, California Academy of Sciences

A typically Anglo-Indian ex-army officer on Budleigh beach as portrayed by Joyce Dennys 

 An 1849 engraving of the Devon and Exeter Hospital.
Image courtesy of the Devon and Exeter Medical Society

"A marvel of design"  (Sir David Attenborough). The Venus's flower basket sponge alongside the Swiss Re Tower, London, with the church of St Mary Axe in the foreground.  
Image credit: NOAA/Monterey Bay Aquarium and Aurelien Guichard


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