Conquering Nature in Spain and its Empire, 1750-1850

Overview

This book examines the study of natural history in the Spanish empire in the years 1750-1850. During this period, Spain made strenuous efforts to survey, inventory, and exploit the natural productions of her overseas possessions, orchestrating a series of scientific expeditions and cultivating and displaying American fauna and flora in metropolitan gardens and museums. This book assesses the cultural significance of natural history, emphasizing the figurative and utilitarian value with which eighteenth-century ...

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Overview

This book examines the study of natural history in the Spanish empire in the years 1750-1850. During this period, Spain made strenuous efforts to survey, inventory, and exploit the natural productions of her overseas possessions, orchestrating a series of scientific expeditions and cultivating and displaying American fauna and flora in metropolitan gardens and museums. This book assesses the cultural significance of natural history, emphasizing the figurative and utilitarian value with which eighteenth-century Spaniards invested natural objects, from globe-trotting elephants to three-legged chickens. It considers how the creation, legitimization and dissemination of scientific knowledge reflected broader questions of imperial power and national identity.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780719084935
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Publication date: 11/8/2011
  • Series: Studies in Imperialism Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Helen Cowie is a Research Fellow in History at the University of Plymouth.

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Table of Contents

Morals and monuments
• Sloth bones and anteater tongues
• Nature on display
• Peripheral vision
• The creole conundrum
• Civilisation and barbarism
• Naturalistes sans frontières
 * Conclusion
• Index
• Bibliography

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