Council of Heads of Australasian Herbaria
Born 19 August 1807; died 13 July 1858.
Born to Thomas Webb, Esq., a wealthy manufacturer from Edgbaston, Birmingham and his wife; died 1858.
After the death of her mother in 1819, she travelled Europe for a year with her father, learning several languages. On their return his business faltered, and his fortune was lost. He died penniless in 1824, when Jane Webb was only 17.
After her father's death, she found that:
"on the winding up of his affairs that it would be necessary to do something for my support. I had written a strange, wild novel, called 'The Mummy', in which I had laid the scene in the twenty-second century, and attempted to predict the state of improvement to which this country might possibly arrive."
Her writing of this early form of 'science fiction' brought her to the attention of Scottish John Claudius Loudon, a prominent botanist/horticulturalist, and they married in 1831.
She became fascinated with her husband's field of agriculture and gardening. She found the gardening manuals of the day confusing as they were written for those already deeply into the field via some apprenticeship: there were no entry-level manuals. She saw the need for and potential interest in such books, and set to writing them as she herself learned: Instructions in Gardening for Ladies; The Ladies' Flower Garden; The Ladies' Companion to the Flower Garden; Botany for Ladies; The Lady's Magazine of Gardening, etc.
Not only did Loudon's books contain valuable information about plant species and gardening, they also served as a guide for the illustration of plants and flowers. When The Gardener's Magazine, of which her husband was editor, reviewed her Ladies' Flower Garden of ornamental Annuals, it was pronounced that As a drawing book for young ladies to copy from, the work is unrivalled. In Ladies' Flower Garden of Ornamental Annuals and subsequent publications, she grouped a variety of species together in elegant bouquet-like arrangements which demonstrated the range of plant species which could be found flowering in the same garden.
Some of these groupings relate to Australian flowers that were at that time being grown in England.
The plate of pea flowers (right - click to enlarge) is from Ladies' Flower Garden of Ornamental Greenhouse Plants
Source: Extracted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_C._Loudon https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Mummy!
Aitken, Richard; Collett, Julie; Darragh, Thomas A.; Jones-O'Neill; Morrison, Gordon (2012) 'Capturing Flora - 300 years of Australian Botanical art', Art Gallery of Ballarat.
Portrait Photo: Extracted from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jane_C._Loudon#/media/File:Jane_Loudon_crop.jpg