The following article, "Spiders:--Their Structure and Habits," appeared in the September 1860 issue of Harper's New Monthly Magazine. Written by Charlotte Taylor, its bulk treats the behavioral idiosyncrasies of various species. Taylor uses an interesting mixture of scientific and sentimental modes, one moment dispassionately describing the stalking habits of spiders, the next emphasizing the fickleness and cruelty of their behavior through metaphoric comparison to humans. Throughout the article, spiders are gendered female. Although the author's overt goal is to make spiders less terrible to her readers by adducing reason and evidence to counter common assumptions (going so far as to suggest that they are utterly harmless to humans), she manages to maintain a web of mystery around her subject by suggesting several aspects of their existence that remain unknown and by lingering over aspects of their behavior that seem unfathomable.

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