Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis (Paperback)

Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis Cover Image
Hard to Find


Before Darwin, before Audubon, there was Maria Sibylla Merian.

An artist turned naturalist known for her botanical illustrations, Merian was born just sixteen years after Galileo proclaimed that the earth orbited the sun. But at the age of fifty, she sailed from Europe to the New World on a solo scientific expedition to study insect metamorphosis—an unheard-of journey for any naturalist at that time, much less a woman.

When she returned, she produced a book that secured her reputation, only to have it savaged in the nineteenth century by scientists who disdained the work of “amateurs.”

Exquisitely written and illustrated, Chrysalis takes us from golden-age Amsterdam to the Surinam tropics to modern laboratories where Merian’s insights fuel a new branch of biology. Kim Todd brings to life a seventeenth-century woman whose boldness and vision would still be exceptional today.

About the Author

KIM TODD’s previous book, Tinkering with Eden, received the PEN/Jerard Fund Award and the Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award, among others. She has an MFA in creative writing and an MS in environmental studies from the University of Montana. She lives in Missoula, Montana.

Praise For…


"You really can't fool Mother Nature, as Kim Todd vividly shows in her fascinating, cautionary first book."--The New York Times Book Review

"Todd uncovers a Greek tragedy of human heedlessness . . . [A] beautifully written natural history."--Outside

Product Details
ISBN: 9780156032995
ISBN-10: 0156032996
Publisher: Mariner Books
Publication Date: December 3rd, 2007
Pages: 352
Language: English