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Common to This Country: Botanical Discoveries of Lewis and Clark

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Lewis and Clark's 1804 to 1806 expedition to discover a direct water route to the Pacific Ocean resulted in accomplishments never imagined. Although they never found a water route west, they discovered and described more than 40 American Indian tribes, 122 animals unknown to science, and 178 types of plants. In exquisitely detailed watercolor illustrations and intriguing essays, Common to This Country explores more than two dozen of these plants' place in history and their ...

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Overview

Lewis and Clark's 1804 to 1806 expedition to discover a direct water route to the Pacific Ocean resulted in accomplishments never imagined. Although they never found a water route west, they discovered and described more than 40 American Indian tribes, 122 animals unknown to science, and 178 types of plants. In exquisitely detailed watercolor illustrations and intriguing essays, Common to This Country explores more than two dozen of these plants' place in history and their significance.

The book skillfully chronicles Lewis' obsession with plant collecting, often in his own words, and botanically accurate watercolors display the salient features often noted in Lewis's journal. This beautiful guide will appeal to natural history buffs and gardeners alike.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This collection of brief essays describes 25 plants discovered during the Lewis and Clark 1804-06 expedition. Each essay is accompanied by a beautifully rendered botanical sketch by Thomas. Done in subtle watercolors, the sketches are easily this work's primary strength. Writer and gardener Munger combines excerpts from Lewis and Clark's journals with descriptions of each plant's acceptance into society and gardening facts, resulting in mixed outcomes. The diary excerpts are chosen with a light hand and show the touching devotion of the two adventurers to botanical discoveries. Munger also makes the mundane exotic by reminding readers that the plants are common to us today were once the product of the unexplored territory beyond the U.S. borders. The weakness comes from the gardening advice, which occasionally seems forced or an afterthought. The essays will appeal primarily to natural historians and American history buffs, especially as the 200th anniversary of the expedition draws near. Recommended for all public and undergraduate libraries.-Marianne Stowell Bracke, Univ. of Arizona Libs., Tucson Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781579652241
  • Publisher: Artisan
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Pages: 128
  • Product dimensions: 7.36 (w) x 9.28 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan H. Munger is an editor, writer, and master gardener. She owns and operates Oldham Publishing Service and produces The New London Gazette. She lives in southeastern Connecticut.

Verlyn Klinkenborg is the author of The Last Fine Time, Making Hay, and the forthcoming Becoming a Hand: A True Life Among Horses. His articles have appeared in many magazines, including The New Yorker, Harper's, Audubon, Smithsonian, and The New Republic. He teaches creative writing at Harvard University.

Charlotte Staub Thomas is a botanical artist whose work has appeared in numerous shows throughout the United States. She resides in Bradenton, Florida.

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