Flower Hunters

Flower Hunters

by Mary Gribbin, John Gribbin
     
 

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The flower hunters were intrepid explorers - remarkable, eccentric men and women who scoured the world in search of extraordinary plants from the middle of the seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth century, and helped establish the new science of botany. For these adventurers, the search for new, undiscovered plant specimens was something worth risking - and

Overview

The flower hunters were intrepid explorers - remarkable, eccentric men and women who scoured the world in search of extraordinary plants from the middle of the seventeenth to the end of the nineteenth century, and helped establish the new science of botany. For these adventurers, the search for new, undiscovered plant specimens was something worth risking - and losing - their lives for.

From the Douglas-fir and the monkey puzzle tree, to exotic orchids and azaleas, many of the plants that are now so familiar to us were found in distant regions of the globe, often in wild and unexplored country, in impenetrable jungle, and in the face of hunger, disease, and hostile locals. It was specimens like these, smuggled home by the flower hunters, that helped build the great botanical collections, and lay the foundations for the revolution in our understanding of the natural world that was to follow. Here, the adventures of eleven such explorers are brought to life, describing not only their extraordinary daring and dedication, but alos the lasting impact of their discoveries both on science, and on the landscapes and gardens that we see today.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Flower Hunters is a thick paperback, densely packed with text but also very readable. Concluding with Notes, Sources and Further Reading, and a comprehensive index, it is a book to interest both the garden historian and anyone who enjoys a good biography,"—Cornwall Gardens Trust

"This book highlights well-known plant hunters such as David Douglas, who was sent to North America by the Horticultural Society of London; Richard Spruce, who obtained quinine seeds to treat malaria; and Joseph Banks, who sailed with Captain Cook. These detailed biographical sketches of a dozen 18th and 19th-century botanical explorers take the reader into a travelogue filled with adventure like no other."—American Herb Association Quarterly

"Engagingly written study."—Geographical

"Flower Hunters is a welcome addition to the genre...This is a book for the general reader...the stories are wonderful."—Literary Review, Julia Keay

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199561827
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
05/25/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
320
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

John and Mary Gribbin are popular science writers who have collaborated on many books, including Richard Feynman: A Life in Science, Annus Mirabilis: 1905, Albert Einstein, and the Theory of Relativity, and Big Numbers: A Mind Expanding Trip to Infinity and Back. They live in East Sussex, in the UK.

Books by the same authors:
Fitzroy: The Remarkable Story of Darwin's Captain and the Invention of the Weather Forecast, 2004
Ice Age: How a change of climate made us human, 2003 The Universe: a Biography, 2007

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