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Rosalind Franklin and the great DNA race.

Drawing on interviews, published records, and a trove of personal letters to and from Rosalind, Maddox takes pains to illuminate her subject as a gifted scientist and a complex woman, but the author does not entirely dispel the darkness that clings to "the Sylvia Plath of molecular biology. View Full Version of PW. More By and About This Author. Buy this book.

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ROSALIND FRANKLIN

Benjamin and Sarah had six children before dying in an epidemic in The two surviving Franklin sons, Abraham and Lewis, went to Portsmouth for apprenticeships in watchmaking and shopkeeping and became successful businessmen. In or the brothers shifted to Liverpool and Manchester where they entered firms engaged in money-changing, banking and trade with the West Indies. In time, the Samuels of Liverpool another line of Silesian exiles were braided into the Franklin fabric. Over the generations the Abrahams became Alfreds and Arthurs, and the ancestral surname Israel became Ellis. In the grandson of the original immigrant, Ellis A.

From the Franklin family's financial base lay in the City of London, in A. Keyser and Co. Keyser's, a source of employment for Franklin sons for the next century, became independent in and specialised in placing American rail bonds in the City.

Rosalind Franklin: the dark lady of DNA | Dr. Antonio Esteve's Fundation

Among the City's so-called 'Jewish banks', Keyser's was the only one to observe all the Jewish holidays. From Franklins were publishers as well as bankers. Keyser's bought the house of George Routledge from the receivers in and in took over another ailing publisher, Kegan Paul.


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This acquisition created a refuge for Franklin males disinclined to banking. In , in line with the exodus from the City of London where the Jews had clustered, Ellis Franklin shifted to west London and the wealthy Jewish enclave in Bayswater. His seven children, all of whom married within the faith, made the family known for prodigious philanthropic zeal -- a leading example of the Jewish tradition of repaying the privilege of wealth through service to those less fortunate. In succeeding generations there was scarcely a Jewish organisation, hospital or old people's home without a Franklin on the board and many secular charities benefited from their dedication as well.

On her mother's side Rosalind's antecedents were intellectual and professional. The Waleys had been in England even longer than the Franklins, having arrived in Portsmouth in as Levis. Rosalind's maternal great-grandfather, Jacob Waley, took first place in mathematics and classics at University College London, and later became professor of mathematics at the University of London while also practising at the bar. He too was active in Jewish good works, as a founder of the United Synagogue an association of nominally Orthodox synagogues which observed the German or Polish ritual , and first president of the Anglo-Jewish Association.

Anglo-Jewry was a happy breed: secure, able, influential, socially conscious, cosmopolitan. Its members dressed for dinner, were presented at Court, had their portraits painted by Singer Sargent. Many kept Christmas and Passover, ate kosher and played cricket.

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The price of belonging was intermarriage. But there was no need for exogamy -- the dreaded 'marrying out'. As prolific as other families of the late-Victorian and Edwardian eras, the clans produced enough offspring to stock a generous marriage pool, and to speed the path to it through a well-organised social round of dances, picnics, theatre parties and country weekends.

Rosalind's parents, Ellis Franklin and Muriel Waley, met at an engagement party at the family house in Porchester Terrace, Bayswater, and began their courtship by escaping for a long walk across Hyde Park. Which was the stronger loyalty -- to country or to faith? There was nothing to choose. The discovery of the secret of the gene involves a genealogy as long as any in the history of the planet. Elders of the Franklin clan claimed direct descent from King David, founder of Jerusalem, reigning king of Israel c.

The lineage was spelled out by Rosalind's grandfather, Arthur E. Franklin, in a thick blue book beautifully produced by Routledge, the family firm. See All Customer Reviews. Shop Books.

Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA

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Summer of Scientists book club: Rosalind Franklin: The Dark Lady of DNA

Show More. Average Review. Write a Review. What I didn't know was that it was Dr. Franklins X-ray crystallography of DNA fibers that was instrumental to this discovery. Maddox describes what the climate was like for this woman in science. It was the s and from this book it appears that women didn't get the respect that men did.


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Still Dr. Franklin was a very successful scientist who did travel the world giving lectures about her work. However, this book points out that Dr. Franklin didn't get the credit she deserved for her contribution to the discovery of the structure of DNA. The world has changed since the 50's. From my own life experience I find that it's easier for a woman to get respect for her work. And she doesn't have to give up life for that. I enjoyed the historical points in this book