Minerva Scientifica Birthday Celebration
2nd February 2021Leonora Rintoul
BORN 2nd February 1878, Lahill, Largo, Fife, Scotland
“On the Isle of May” by Frances M Lynch
for unaccompanied female voices, birds and bombs (2017)
This short song gives a brief glimpse of the very rich lives of Leonora Rintoul (1878 -1953) and her fellow ornithologist Evelyn Baxter. The Isle of May, where they did much of their important work on birds, forms the central musical material from which it branches out to explore their many interests and exploits across Scotland. It was originally written as part of an Edinburgh Festival Fringe show Scottish Superwomen of Science and first performed there on Aug 5th 2017. The image is from the original production – the illustration is by Amy Whiten
Leonora Rintoul was a persistent campaigner for the protection of birds, she wrote many books based on extensive research which she conducted across Scotland and very specifically on the Isle of May with her colleague Evelyn Baxter. Their detailed and brilliant work – producing “Birds of Scotland” in 2 volumes – was rarely interrupted, except by some major events. In her notebooks (held in Archive of Scottish Ornithologists’ Club) our researcher Catherine Booth found this….
3rd September 1939
Painted Lady and Red Admiral [butterflies] on EVB’s Buddleia. At war with Germany again & I so absorbed I forgot my notes … [no more entries for several weeks]
Many thanks to Scottish Ornithologists’ Club for permission to publish photographs from an album in which many were taken by either Rintoul or Baxter
You can find out more about Leonora Rintoul on our sister site Minerva Scientifica
Why not sign up to our newsletter for updates on our plans for 2021 which will continue last year’s online work.
Created by electric voice theatre, Minerva Scientifica is a project that brings together professional performers with community musicians and school children. Together, we raise awareness of the rich heritage and deep connections between music and science, and inspire the next generation of future scientists.