Remembering Rachel Carson: A pioneer writing through the night
Posted by on May 29, 2014

Photo credit: Wikipedia commons. Rachel Carson doing what she loved. She is conducting Marine Biology research with Bob Hines—in the Atlantic (1952).

As we went about our week, we couldn’t help but think about Rachel Carson, and her contributions to literature and our environment.

Rachel Louise Carson was born on May 27, 1907 in Springdale, Pa.

She was a pioneer. Her writing influenced change, which we think is the highest honor an author can reach. The marine biologist and writer influenced the environmental movement Silent Spring as no one had since David Thoreau wrote about Walden Pond. But Carson did not live to see the positive impact of her message—prohibition of the agrichemicals aldrin, dieldrin and heptachlor; passage of the National Environmental Policy Act; establishment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; the banning of DDT in the United States in 1972 and the end of its use by much of the world’s agriculture within the half-century.

She wrote elegantly and honestly. She wrote even as she battled cancer, deflecting suspicions about her health so she could finish her seminal work Silent Spring and raising awareness about the book and its messages. Carson was determined to “let nothing stand in the way of finishing her book or defending its conclusions.”

Her best hours for writing were late at night. According to the Walden Woods Project, she would sometimes work through the night and sleep in the morning. She often kept a volume of Thoreau’s journal by her bedside and would “relax my mind” by reading a few pages before turning off the light.

 Post by Roger

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  • Photo by Tyler Malone