One is simply a biography of Charles Darwin written for children, though the biographical note after her name on the title page gives a flavour of the woman:
This book, Charles Darwin and His Problems, is illustrated by Geoffrey Whittam, who was remembered by Bear Alley a couple of years ago.
F.R.E.S., Formerly Curator of Insects at
the London Zoo, author of 'Marooned in
Du-Bu Cove', 'Camping Adventures on
Cannibal Islands', 'Insects Indomitable'
But the second book, Who Stand Alone, is remarkable. It is a study of the European settlers she met on her travels in New Guinea and the New Hebrides. As the blurb says, most:
lived in almost total isolation - these were the days before radio and other communications with the outside world - and to live on one's own mental resources is a cruel test of character.And Cheesman observes those who cope and those do not with a cool naturalist's eye.
The blurb concludes:
she is fascinated by such subjects as cannibalism and incest among the settlers; yet her most vivid portrait is perhaps herself - gifted, unsentimental, sympathetic and superbly original.What a woman!
I was first attracted to Evelyn Cheesman by the suggestion that she had started her career as a governess at Gumley Hall near Market Harborough. To discover the truth of that I shall have to get hold of one of her two volumes of more straightforward memoirs.