Oral history of British science

Rothschild, Miriam (11 of 16) An Oral History of British Horticulture

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    Interviewee's home

  • Interviewees

    Rothschild, Miriam, 1908-2005 (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Brodie, Louise (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 11: She saw her job as promoting conservation and wild flowers. Encouraging people and councils to plant up verges. She organised an international meeting at Ashton, with Dutch Germans, Swiss, French, Israelis and Americans. Stories of the German chancellor's wife and Mrs Lyndon Johnson and their armed guards. Mrs Johnson was very good at PR. She had machinery made in the United States, and then it was adapted here. Story of experimentation with cutting and combining the wild flower seed. (sticking plaster on machinery and walking behind with watering cans). You have to keep some rubbish mixed in with the seed otherwise it is too fine to sow. She gave it away to whoever wanted it. She collects 2 tons of seed a year. Details of renting more land, prices and costs. The conservation societies had no interest in 1970, nor did the National Trust. Then she did up the seed in prettily painted packets and they began to sell retail. Discussion of being made a Fellow of the Royal Society. With one exception, she has been turned down more times than anyone. Brother's comments - being a woman, private means and your religion is against you. Story of being told she was turned down because she didn't do any teaching - in fact she was professor at the Royal Free Hospital.

  • Description

    Interview with Dame Miriam Rothschild DBE FRS, naturalist and entomologist.

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