Historical - Completed 2015

It's an historical documentary about the extraordinary story of Mary Ward and Mary Rosse, two women who lived in Ireland in the 19th century, they were pioneer scientists in particular about photography, astronomy and entomology.

& Awards

St.tropez Film Festival 2015
Best Editing
Milan Film Festival 2015
Best Documentary
Life Film Festival, Hollywood 2015
Best Documentary
    • Year of production
    • 2015
    • Genres
    • Historical, Documentary
    • Countries
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 0 - 0.3 M$
    • Duration
    • 56 mn
    • Synopsis
    • During the years 1830 to 1869, Birr, Co. Offaly (formally Parsonstown) became a centre of excellence in science, and two women were central to this technological revolution. Lady Mary Rosse and Mary Ward had a passion for scientific technologies, namely: photography, astronomy, microscopy; they also dabbled in architecture, interior design, illustration and the design process of engineering works; all during a time when women were not admitted into university, and rarely had the privilege of a formal education. The life and works of these two women are commendable due to their efforts in science. It is true, both women ultimately utilised their position of ‘Angel’ to create a home for their families and maintain the Victorian feminine ideal; though, commendably, they used their artistic skills, creativity and charm to educate themselves and actively participate in the industrial and technological revolution. The documentary follows the endeavours of these two women and
      their achievements throughout their lives in the 19th Century, in Ireland. For the first time ever the story of their lives is told through a series of interviews and dramatization. Mary Rosse was famed locally for her work as an architect, a blacksmith, and perhaps most notably, a pioneer photographer. She was also heavily involved in the construction of the ‘Monster Telescope’; it was the largest telescope in the world for over seventy years.
      Her friend, Mary Ward, became a highly regarded scienQfic expositor; microscopist; and astronomer. She often visited Birr Castle where she documented and studied the wildlife in the ground; as well as illustrating with minute detail, the night skies as seen by the Leviathan. In a tragic twist of fate, she ultimately became more famous for her death. She died on the 31st August 1869 when she fell from her seat on a steam carriage. She was the first woman in Europe to die in a car accident. It is perhaps ironic, Mary Ward’s death was linked to a feat of modern engineering, devised and created by her cousins at Birr Castle.
      ‘The Ladies of Science’ celebrates these women and their achievements as pioneering women in the Victorian era. Both women had a unique ‘insight’ they used to develop their artistic talents; this would then impinge on their scientific experiments. They often exercised liberties that other women would not dream, and actively sought education to assist the advancement of their ambitious projects. it was the largest telescope in the world for over seventy years. Their works act as a silent and dignified revolution against male supremacy in the Early Victorian Era.