Rosalind Franklin

Maddox, Brenda. Rosalind Franklin: the Dark Lady of DNA. New York: Harper Collins, 2002.

One of the very first things I learned about Rosalind Franklin is that she was destined to become a scientist of some sort. How could she not? She came from a long line of scholars. But what she didn’t inherit was the ability to be gracious. From the very beginning Franklin was called obstructive (Nancy Pearl calls her “cranky”) and people couldn’t wait to be rid of her. But, for all that she was brilliant. Brilliant at a time in society when women in general were supposed to be anything but! “…she was spared military service and allowed to remain at university, to her father’s dismay. Yet what exactly she ought to have been doing instead was hard for him to say, as a woman’s place in the war effort had not been defined” (p 71).

Best line, “She knew enough about herself to know that she liked people better when she didn’t have to live with them” (p 75).

Reason read: Rosalind Franklin was born in December 1920. I’m reading her biography in honor of the occasion.

Author fact: Brenda Maddox excels at writing biographies. In addition to Rosalind Franklin she has written about William Butler Yeats and Molly Bloom, just to name a few.

Book trivia: Rosalind Franklin: the Dark Lady of DNA was a story on NPR.

BookLust Twist: from Book Lust in the chapter called “Genuine Genes” (p 96).


2 Comments on “Rosalind Franklin”

  1. A.M.B. says:

    I’ve always wanted to know more about the woman behind our understanding of DNA, particularly because of the inaccruate ways she has been portrayed in the past. She died so young.

  2. gr4c5 says:

    This was a really good biography. She was a feisty woman who didn’t get proper recognition for her contribution to science.


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