THE LATE HON. DAME MIRIAM ROTHSCHILD, D.SC., DBE, FRS (1908 – 2005)
The Hon. Miriam was a renowned biologist, champion of Nature Conservation, stylish writer, effective philanthropist, respected intellectual and brilliant athlete – all in an era when women, even very rich women, were not really expected to participate in professional life. With her dark good looks, strong profile and athletic demeanour, Miriam and her handsome brother Victor, (Lord Rothschild - also an athlete), cut quite a dash – but in reality, the Hon. Miriam preferred the company of scientists, artists and intellectuals.
The Hon. Miriam achieved much as a scientist, publishing some 300 papers, and she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Scientific interests ranged from fleas, other parasites and butterflies to plant chemicals and migratory birds! Miriam excelled at tennis, skiing, billiards, squash and cricket – attaining international standards at these latter two sports.
Whilst home life was somewhat Bohemian, the Hon. Miriam’s Country Estate at Ashton was renowned for both its natural beauty and for delicious food and for delectable Rothschild wine. Miriam’s father (the Hon. Charles) acquired the substantial Estate because of its rare butterflies!