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Elizabeth Juliana Leeves Sabine

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Elizabeth Juliana Leeves Sabine
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Elizabeth Juliana Leeves Sabine (1807 – 1879) was a British translator of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos and assisted her husband Edward Sabine in his scientific work.

Life and work

Leeves was born 1807 and the daughter of William Leeves, of Tortington Sussex.WEB, Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 50 - Sabine, Edward, Robert Hamilton Vetch, Springer Science & Business Media, 1885–1900,weblink In 1826 when she was 19 years old she married the scientist Edward Sabine.BOOK, Women in Early British and Irish Astronomy: Stars and Satellites, Mary Brück, Springer Science & Business Media, 2009, 9789048124732, 101–102, Leeves assisted Sabine in his scientific work.WEB, Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 50 - Sabine, Edward, Robert Hamilton Vetch, Springer Science & Business Media, 1885–1900,weblink Leeves' translation from German into English of Alexander von Humboldt's Kosmos, the first four volumes, was published first in Britain in 1849 and republished subsequently. She also translated Humboldt's two volume Aspects of Nature, in Different Lands and Different Climates; with Scientific Elucidations, published in 1849. Her translation of François Arago's Meteorological Essays and Narrative of an Expedition to the Polar Sea, was first published 1840 under the superintendence of her husband.WEB, Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 50 - Sabine, Edward, Robert Hamilton Vetch, Springer Science & Business Media, 1885–1900,weblink Leeves also translated the writings of Johann Carl Friedrich Gauss on terrestrial magnetism.WEB, Carl Friedrich Gauss – General Theory of Terrestrial Magnetism – a revised translation of the German text, K.-H. Glassmeier & B. T. Tsurutani, www.hist-geo-space-sci.net Open Access, 2014,weblink 60, In translating Humboldt's Kosmos Leeves received help from the Prussian envoy in London and evangelical theologian Christian Charles Josias von Bunsen.BOOK, Cosmos: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Alexander von Humboldt translated by Elise Otté, JHU Press, 1997, 9780801855023, xi, As translator of Humboldt into English Leeves made several changes to the text. In her Kosmos translation she left out passages that were considered incongruent with traditional beliefs, and thus made Kosmos consistent with British natural theology.WEB, Translation studies in the history of science: the example of Vestiges, Nicolaas Rupke, The British Journal for the History of Science, Volume 33/Issue 02/, June 2000,weblink 210, Her husband added footnote commentary to her translation with the assistance of London-based Scottish geologist Roderick Impey Murchison and other scientists that were part of his wider circle of friends. When it was published Leeves' translation of Kosmos was regarded as the most authoritative English Cosmos. Based on her translation Humboldt's work was reviewed in several leading British periodicals. The translation was regarded as "singularly accurate and elegant", but its British edition was criticised as expensive and for leaving out passages that did not conform to "national prejudices". Among others the geographic location of what Humboldt termed the cradle of mankind was left out. Humboldt wrote to Bunsen calling Britain "that strange island" in reference to British religious traditionalism. In the long run Leeves' English translation was superseded by the translation of Elise Otté in 1858, who benefitted not only from Leeves’ translation but also the French translation by Hervé Faye.BOOK, Cosmos: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Alexander von Humboldt translated by Elise Otté, JHU Press, 1997, 9780801855023, xi, Otté's English translation of Kosmos was cheaper, did not omit any "obnoxious" passages and all foreign measures were converted into English terms.BOOK, Cosmos: A Sketch of the Physical Description of the Universe, Alexander von Humboldt translated by Elise Otté, JHU Press, 1997, 9780801855023, 6, Leeves and Sabine had no children. She died in 1879.WEB, Dictionary of National Biography, 1885–1900, Volume 50 - Sabine, Edward, Robert Hamilton Vetch, Springer Science & Business Media, 1885–1900,weblink

Published translations

References

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