Lachesis Lapponica A Tour in Lapland (Volume I and II) With ATOC

Lachesis Lapponica A Tour in Lapland (Volume I and II) With ATOC

by Carl von Linné
     
 
The biographers of Linnæus have often mentioned the Journal of his Lapland Tour, to which he himself has frequently adverted, in various parts of his voluminous works, under the title of Lachesis Lapponica. The publication of this Journal has been anxiously desired; and so valuable was the manuscript considered, that on his whole collection and library being

Overview

The biographers of Linnæus have often mentioned the Journal of his Lapland Tour, to which he himself has frequently adverted, in various parts of his voluminous works, under the title of Lachesis Lapponica. The publication of this Journal has been anxiously desired; and so valuable was the manuscript considered, that on his whole collection and library being sold, after the death of his son, it was remarked that these papers at least ought to have been retained in Sweden, as a national property; the journey which they record having been undertaken at the public expense, and the objects illustrated thereby being, necessarily, more important to the author's countrymen than to any other people. This remark, however, was not made till long after the manuscript, with all the treasures which accompanied it, had escaped, by land and by sea, the pursuit instituted by the Swedish monarch to recover them, and had reached England in safety. It became a duty for their fortunate possessor to render them useful. To place the authority of this collection, as far as possible, out of the reach of accident, he has made it his chief object to extend any information to be derived from it, not only to his own countrymen, but to his fellow-labourers in every quarter of the globe. The Banksian herbarium was, in the course of seven months, compared with that of Linnæus throughout, to their mutual advantage, by a copious interchange, not only of information, but of specimens. Plants or insects were for many years continually sent from France, Switzerland, Italy, Spain, Germany, and even Sweden, as well as from America, for comparison with the authentic originals named by the hand of Linnæus. The time and labour devoted to this task have been richly compensated, by the acquisition of various novelties, and of much instruction, as well as by the pleasure of so extensive an intercourse with persons occupied in the same favourite and delightful pursuit, and by the acknowledgements with which most of them have overpaid the trouble.

The manuscripts of Linnæus were no less freely consulted; but great was our disappointment to find the Lachesis Lapponica written in Swedish. For a long time therefore it remained unexplored. At length Mr. Charles Troilius, a young gentleman in the mercantile line, resident in London, undertook the task of translating it. The manuscript proved to be the identical journal written on the spot during the tour, which certainly rendered it the more interesting; but the difficulty of decyphering it proved from that very circumstance unexpectedly great. The bulk of the composition is Swedish, but so intermixed with Latin, even in half sentences, that the translator, not being much acquainted with this language, found it necessary to leave frequent blanks, giving a literal version only of what he was able to read. The whole abounds also with frequent cyphers and abbreviations, sometimes referring to the publications or opinions of the day, and intended as memorandums for subsequent consideration. It is, in short, such a journal as a man would write for his own use, without the slightest thought of its ever being seen by any other person. The composition is entirely artless and unaffected, giving a most amiable idea of the writer's mind and temper; and it cannot but be considered as highly curious, to contemplate in these pages the development of such a mind as that of Linnæus. As not a word throughout the whole was written for the use of any person but the author, the reader may perhaps be disappointed at not meeting with any thing like a professed description of Lapland, or even a regular detail of the route of the traveller. What was familiar to Linnæus, either in books or in his own mind, is omitted. By the brilliant sketches he has left us in his Flora Lapponica, published a few years after his return, we see what he might have written had he here undertaken to communicate his own knowledge or remarks to others; and the same may be said of such of his dissertations, in the Amœnitates Academicæ, as professedly treat of subjects belonging to Lapland. The curious and learned reader will, however, here and there, meet with the first traces of ideas, opinions or discoveries, which scarcely acquired a shape, even in the mind of the writer, till some time afterwards. If on the one hand the Journal may seem defective in communicating information, the occasional quotations, references and allusions, the familiar and sufficiently correct use of the Latin language, and the general accuracy of the whole, give a very high idea of the author's accomplishments. The extemporaneous journals of the most illustrious travellers, made without a single book to refer to, or a companion to consult, would few of them perhaps stand the test of criticism so well...

[from preface]

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013600812
Publisher:
Ladislav Deczi
Publication date:
06/10/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
2 MB

Meet the Author

Carl Linnaeus (23 May 1707 – 10 January 1778), also known as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist and zoologist. He is a father of modern taxonomy and modern ecology.
He invented binomial nomenclature.

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