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Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan

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Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan (1809–1892) was an English spiritualist writer and activist.

Early lifeEdit

She was the eldest child of William Frend and his wife Sarah Blackburne.[1] Her upbringing in London was unusual, her father taking her everywhere with him from a young age, and instructing her in philosophy and Hebrew.[2] George Dyer was a friend of the family, as was Charles Lamb who wrote Sophia an acrostic poem based on her name.[3][4] In 1820 the family moved from Blackfriars to Stoke Newington.[5] Anna Letitia Barbauld, in her mid-70s, was a neighbour of the Frends, and Sophia at age 11 took part in some of her taxing games.[6]

Ada LovelaceEdit

In 1828 Sophia began tutoring Ada Lovelace.[7] Lady Byron, Ada's mother, took advice on her daughter's education from William Frend, and Ada was tutored also by William King and Arabella Lawrence, from about 1830. Sophia had to overcome reservations about Ada, whom she didn't like.[8]

The Frends moved back to central London—Tavistock Square—in 1831.[9] Around 1832, Sophia expressed scepticism about a phrenological reading of Ada's head, by James De Ville, that had been arranged by her mother.[10] In June 1833 Ada visited Charles Babbage and saw his difference engine, and Sophia reported that she had understood the principle of the machine.[11] Sophia became a confidante of Lady Byron, on family matters.[12]

ActivismEdit

Around 1835 Lady Byron brought Sophia onto the committee of the Children's Friend Society.[13] In 1849 she was involved in the "Ladies' College" project of Elizabeth Jesser Reid.[14] It is thought that she acted as secretary to early meetings of the group, but later withdrew because of bad health.[15]

The De Morgans came to know Elizabeth Fry, who was under a misapprehension that Augustus was William Morgan the noted actuary. The introduction was through Lady Byron.[16] Through Fry, Sophia became involved in prison and workhouse reform.[17] She was also an anti-slavery and women's suffrage advocate.[18]

SpiritualistEdit

Her views on spiritualism adapted the philosophy of Emanuel Swedenborg, and influenced in particular Evelyn Pickering, who married her son William.[19] She was impressed most, in table-turning, by the medium Daniel Dunglas Home.[20]

WorksEdit

  • From Matter to Spirit: the result of ten years' experience in spirit manifestations (1863), as "C.D."[21][22]
  • Memoir of Augustus De Morgan (1882)[23]
  • Threescore Years and Ten: Reminiscences of the late Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan (1895), edited by Mary De Morgan[24]

A play parodying De Morgan's Elements of Algebra (1835), which was a precursor of the abstract algebra approach, survives in manuscript in Sophia's handwriting. It is attributed to her, or her father.[25]

FamilyEdit

Sophia married Augustus De Morgan on 3 August 1837, unconventionally for the period at the registry office in St Pancras.[26][27] He had been a neighbour of the Frends in Upper Gower Street since 1831, but by the time of the marriage had known them for ten years. The couple had seven children, including William Frend De Morgan, George Campbell De Morgan the mathematician, and Mary de Morgan.[28][29]

There were three sons of the marriage, with Edward who married Ada Margaret Wright, and four daughters, one of whom married:[30]

Elizabeth Alice (1853) and Helena Christiana (1870) died of tuberculosis.[33]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Marilyn Pemberton (15 January 2013). Out of the Shadows: The Life and Works of Mary De Morgan. Cambridge Scholars Publishing. p. 14. ISBN 978-1-4438-4554-0.
  2. ^ Ruth Watts (6 June 2014). Gender, Power and the Unitarians in England, 1760-1860. Routledge. p. 79. ISBN 978-1-317-88862-8.
  3. ^ George Wherry, ed. (1925). Cambridge and Charles Lamb. CUP Archive. p. 78. GGKEY:77S776FHR1R.
  4. ^ The works in prose and verse of Charles and Mary Lamb (PDF) at p. 664
  5. ^ Frida Knight (1971). University Rebel: the life of William Frend, 1757–1841. V. Gollancz. p. 276.
  6. ^ William McCarthy (23 December 2008). Anna Letitia Barbauld: Voice of the Enlightenment. JHU Press. p. 508. ISBN 978-0-8018-9016-1.
  7. ^ Betty Alexandra Toole (14 October 2010). Ada, the Enchantress of Numbers: Poetical Science. Betty Alexandra Toole. p. 39. ISBN 978-0-615-39816-7.
  8. ^ Benjamin Woolley (12 March 2015). The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason and Byron's Daughter. Pan Macmillan. p. 116. ISBN 978-1-4472-7779-8.
  9. ^ Frida Knight (1971). University Rebel: the life of William Frend, 1757–1841. V. Gollancz. p. 291.
  10. ^ Benjamin Woolley (12 March 2015). The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason and Byron's Daughter. Pan Macmillan. p. 199. ISBN 978-1-4472-7779-8.
  11. ^ Richard F. Bellaver (6 May 2011). Characters of the Information and Communication Industry: 2nd Edition. AuthorHouse. p. 31. ISBN 978-1-4567-3259-2.
  12. ^ Benjamin Woolley (12 March 2015). The Bride of Science: Romance, Reason and Byron's Daughter. Pan Macmillan. p. 239. ISBN 978-1-4472-7779-8.
  13. ^ Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan; Mary A. De Morgan (19 May 2011). Threescore Years and Ten: Reminiscences of the Late Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan. Cambridge University Press. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-108-02745-8.
  14. ^ Rosemary Ashton (13 November 2012). Victorian Bloomsbury. Yale University Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-300-15447-4.
  15. ^ "Papers of Mrs De Morgan, PP40/5/4 Description: Papers of Mrs De Morgan concerning the foundation of Bedford College, The National Archives". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  16. ^ Augustus De Morgan (1872). A Budget of Paradoxes Reprinted, with the Author's Additions, from the Athenaeum Augustus De Morgan. Longman, Green, and Company. pp. 133–4 and note.
  17. ^ The Freeman Book. Ludwig von Mises Institute. 1924. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-61016-290-6.
  18. ^ De Morgan papers (MS 913) (PDF) at p. 24
  19. ^ Judy Oberhausen, Sisters in spirit: Alice Kipling Fleming, Evelyn Pickering de Morgan and 19th-century spiritualism, The British Art Journal Vol. 9, No. 3 (Spring 2009), pp. 38–42, at p. 39. Published by: British Art Journal. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41614839
  20. ^ Daniel Cottom (1991). Abyss of Reason: Cultural Movements, Revelations, and Betrayals. Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-19-506857-3.
  21. ^ C. D. i.e. Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan; A. B. i.e. Augustus De Morgan (1863). From Matter to Spirit. The result of ten years' experience in spirit manifestations. Intended as a guide to enquirers.
  22. ^ Charles Darwin (28 March 2006). The Correspondence of Charles Darwin. Cambridge University Press. p. 72. ISBN 978-0-521-85931-8.
  23. ^ Walter E. Houghton (24 May 2013). The Wellesley Index to Victorian Periodicals 1824-1900. Routledge. p. 1165. ISBN 978-1-135-79550-4.
  24. ^ Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan; Mary A. De Morgan (19 May 2011). Threescore Years and Ten: Reminiscences of the Late Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-02745-8.
  25. ^ Helena M. Pycior, Historical Roots of Confusion among Beginning Algebra Students: A Newly Discovered Manuscript, Mathematics Magazine Vol. 55, No. 3 (May, 1982), pp. 150–156, at pp. 150–152. Published by: Mathematical Association of America DOI: 10.2307/2690081 Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/2690081
  26. ^ Frida Knight (1971). University Rebel: the life of William Frend, 1757–1841. V. Gollancz. p. 304.
  27. ^ Ravi Agarwal; Syamal Sen (11 November 2014). Creators of Mathematical and Computational Sciences. Springer. p. 257. ISBN 978-3-319-10870-4.
  28. ^ Grattan-Guinness, I. "De Morgan, Augustus". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/7470.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  29. ^ Sophia Elizabeth De Morgan; Augustus De Morgan (29 July 2010). Memoir of Augustus De Morgan: With Selections from His Letters. Cambridge University Press. p. 22. ISBN 978-1-108-01447-2.
  30. ^ Howard, Joseph Jackson (1893). "Visitation of England and Wales". Internet Archive. pp. 47–9. Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  31. ^ "Munks Roll Details for Reginald Edward Thompson". Retrieved 6 July 2016.
  32. ^ "Thompson, Reginald Campbell (THM895RC)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge.
  33. ^ William Gaunt; Maxwell David Eugene Clayton-Stamm (1971). New York Graphic Society. p. 20. Missing or empty |title= (help)