During the seventeen years she worked in the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Rachel Carson learned about the problems of pesticides. Undaunted by the chemical companies' hostility and by the public's high enthusiasm for pesticides, she wrote a book called Silent Spring, which caused a major shift in public consciousness about the environment.
Other concerns, namely her family and her health, delayed
the anticipated finishing date for Silent
Born on May 27, 1907, Rachel Carson was always close to her
family. Her parents moved in with her in 1930. In 1935 her
father died. In 1957, at age 50, she adopted her five-year-old
grandnephew, Roger Christie, after his mother passed away.
Rachel Carson also took care of her ailing mother, with whom
she was close. In December of 1958, Carson's mother died.
Carson's own health also delayed her progress. In addition
to other ailments, Carson was diagnosed with breast cancer in
the early in the spring of 1960. She underwent a radical
mastectomy in April of that year. Until her death on April 14,
1964, she was continuously treated for cancer.
Due to her deteriorating health and to the massive amount of
information needed for the book, she hired Mrs. Jeanne Davis as
her secretary in 1959. Mrs. Davis played a significant role in
bringing the book to a conclusion. Carson said that she was
sustained by a serene, inner conviction that the book was going
to built on an unshakable foundation.1