was a strong willed woman who approached her personal researches
with an enthusiasm that she did not quite feel for her role as a
wife. She resisted when she was called upon by “every old woman
in the parish” and she chafed at her husband’s reminders
of her duties. She was a prolific writer, the author of
published fiction, as well as the extensive text that accompanied the
plates in Illustrations
of British Mycology. During her most creative period, she maintained
an active and candid correspondence with her mycological mentor, Reverend
M. J. Berkley, which provides many details of her daily life and work.
In his lifetime, Berkeley described over 6,000 new species of fungi.
He assisted Hussey with identifications and she supplied him with specimens.
She was also acquainted with Charles Badham, a scholar of classical literature,
and mycologist M. C. Cooke, who cites Hussey in his 1875 Fungi: Their
Nature and Uses and called her “friend”.
Born Anna Maria Reed in 1805, Mrs. T. J. Hussey was both illustrator
and author of Illustrations of British Mycology. She was
married to Thomas John Hussey, an amateur astronomer who, following
in his father-in-law’s footsteps, became Rector of Hayes, Kent.
Both Husseys had a family history of involvement in the sciences.
Mrs. Hussey’s sister, Fanny Reed, was also an illustrator and
Reverend Hussey’s relative, James Hussey, was a member of the
Botanical Society. Rev. Hussey was a regular contributor to the Transactions
of the Royal Astronomical Society and other publications and
was the first to propose the existance of an 8th planet based on
his observations of the motions of Uranus. After 1837, his contributions
ceased and in 1839 he offered his Observatory for sale to Durham
University. Her career as a mycological illustrator began in earnest
in the 1840s. With three children to raise, the motive for both the
sale of his instruments and her publishing activities was probably