Hannah Peterson

Hannah Mary Bouvier Peterson was an unusual woman for her day because of her interest and training in science and mathematics, especially, of all things, astronomy. She was born in 1811 to a prominent Quaker family in Philadelphia and was educated at private academies, showing a strong interest in learning and displaying an analytical mind. She worked with her publisher husband, Robert Peterson, who taught her applied mathematics, and from these roots she later developed her own interest in astronomy. Her first book, written in 1850, was Familiar Science, published under her husband’s name, since she felt that a “woman should never be known outside of her own home.” The book was extremely popular and sold 250,000 copies. Her second book Bouvier’s Familiar Astronomy, or an Introduction to the Study of the Heavens, published under her maiden name, was equally successful and extremely well reviewed in the scientific as well as popular press. 

Books by this Author