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My gratitude to the late Cornelia Crosse for this fascinating read.April 21 2014
- Published on Amazon.com
I admit, I was curious. Why does a book first published in 1857 keep getting reprinted? I was not disappointed. Not being of a particularly scientific bent, it was the story behind the story that I found so charming. Cornelia Crosse's tribute to her husband is an unusual love story out of time. Andrew Crosse was an eccentric sixty-year-old widower, practically a recluse, when he ventured out to a dinner party and there he met young Cornelia Berkeley, described as "a great beauty." They married and had three sons before Andrew's death five years later. Andrew had startled scientific contemporaries by predicting it would one day be possible to communicate instantaneously all around the world by means of electricity. Components of his experiments hung in trees all about his estate, alarming his neighbors, who were inclined to blame him for crop failures and other natural events. One day in the course of his experiments, Andrew was startled by the unexpected appearance of a minute life form which he called "Acarus." He was acquainted with Mary Shelly, but suggestions that her book, "Frankenstein," was based on his experiments are untrue, as "Frankenstein" had been written twenty years earlier. I read "Memorials" as part of my genealogical research, so it was admittedly of special interest to me. It concludes with this passage: "Andrew Crosse died in the room in which he was born, beneath the roof where he had lived, and his mortal remains rest where his ancestors have been laid for more than two centuries." An obelisk marks the resting place of "Andrew Crosse, the Electician" and is inscribed, "This tribute of affection is raised by Cornelia, his wife." She never remarried.