Naming of Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants

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Overview

An exhilarating new book from the author of the worldwide bestseller The Tulip.

The Naming of Names traces the search for order in the natural world, a search that for hundreds of years occupied some of the most brilliant minds in Europe.

Redefining man’s relationship with nature was a major pursuit during the Renaissance. But in a world full of poisons, there was also an urgent practical need to name and ...

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New York 2005 Hardcover First American edition New in new jacket N. 471 pages. With decorated endpapers, frontispiece, decorated title, b/w & coloured plates & illustrations. ... The Naming of Names is about the men who searched for the rules of nature's game. What were plants to be called? What were their similarities and differences? How should they be grouped and ordered? The world was surely more than a random, chaotic jumble, if only the right key could be found to unlock the puzzle. For centuries, this search for order occupied some of the most brilliant minds n Europe. Beginningi n Athens, where Aristotle's pupil Theophrastus was the first person ever to write about plants, the story then moves to the Italian Renaissance, when man's relationship with nature was radically redefined. Gradually, over a long period in Europe, plants gathered identities. In a world full of plagues and poisons, there was, of course, a practical need to recognize and differentiate between one plant and another: many medicines Read more Show Less

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2005 Hardcover A Brand New copy, unused and unread. Christmas 2014 Please note that any International orders received after 30th November may not be received in time for ... Christmas. European orders need to be placed by 8th December for delivery before Christmas. Orders to UK addresses, the last posting day for 2nd Class mail is 16th December. The offices will be closed between 24th-26th December, any orders received during this time will be processed on 29th December, please allow for post delays over N. *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

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The Naming of Names: The Search for Order in the World of Plants

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Overview

An exhilarating new book from the author of the worldwide bestseller The Tulip.

The Naming of Names traces the search for order in the natural world, a search that for hundreds of years occupied some of the most brilliant minds in Europe.

Redefining man’s relationship with nature was a major pursuit during the Renaissance. But in a world full of poisons, there was also an urgent practical need to name and recognize different plants, because most medicines were made from plant extracts.

Anna Pavord takes us on a thrilling adventure into botanical history, traveling from Athens in the third century BC, through Constantinople, Venice, the medical school at Salerno to the universities of Pisa and Padua. The journey, traced here for the first time, involves the culture of Islam, the first expeditions to the Indies and the first settlers in the New World.

In Athens, Aristotle’s pupil Theophrastus was the first man ever to write a book about plants. How can we name, sort, and order them? He asked. The debate continues still, two thousand years later. Sumptuously illustrated in full colour, The Naming of Names gives a compelling insight into a world full of intrigue and intensely competitive egos.

Traces the search for order in the natural world, a search that for hundreds of years occupied some of the most brilliant minds in Europe, reaching its apex during the Renaissance. From Athens in the third century BC, through Constantinople, Venice, the medical school at Salerno to the universities of Pisa and Padua, the journey involves a world full of intrigue and intensely competitive egos, from Europe to the culture of Islam, the first expeditions to the Indies and the first settlers in the New World. Gradually, over a long period, plants assumed identities and artists painted pictures of them. Plants acquired the two-part names that show how they are related to other plants. But who began all this work, and how was it done?--From publisher description.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
With this book, British author Pavord (The Tulip) quashes any notion that the history of plant taxonomy is a dull pursuit. Her story covers 2000 years of the search for order in the plant world, beginning in third-century B.C.E. Greece with Aristotle's great pupil Theophrastus and ending in late 17th-century England with the man who coined the word botany, John Ray. Her crisp prose is complemented by lavish, full-color illustrations (though strangely lacking is a portrait of one of the author's heroes, the aforementioned Theophrastus). The Renaissance developments are especially fascinating: the spectacular refinement of plant illustration in herbals, the establishment of botanical gardens, and the flood of new plant discoveries that came with the advent of world navigation. Pavord demonstrates convincingly how, from about the 15th century on, plants came to be an object of interest for their intrinsic value, not just for their medicinal, nutritive, or ritual purposes. There is much here for readers of all sorts, making this book a solid choice for large public collections. It is also highly recommended for special and academic collections, though professional botanists may wince at the short shrift given French botanist Joseph Pitton de Tournefort and Swedish taxonomist Carl Linnaeus.-Robert Eagan, Windsor P.L., Ont. Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596910713
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 11/29/2005
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 7.70 (w) x 9.84 (h) x 1.59 (d)

Meet the Author

Anna Pavord is the gardening correspondent for the Independent and the author of eight previous books, including the bestselling The Tulip. She contributes to a number of magazines, both in the US and the UK and regularly fronts programmes for BBC Radio 3 and 4. She chairs the Gardens Panel of the National Trust and sits on the Parks and Gardens Panel of English Heritage.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
I In the Beginning 21
II All Men By Nature Desire to Know 44
III The Alexandrian Library 55
IV Pliny the Plagiarist 62
V The Medicine Men 71
VI Juliana's Book 82
VII The Arab Influence 93
VIII Out of the Black Hole 109
IX The Image Makers 125
X Theophrastus Reborn 143
XI Brunfels's Book 161
XII The Irascible Fuchs 175
XIII In Italy 205
XIV The First Botanic Garden 221
XV The Long-Nosed Nit-Picker 243
XVI Weaving the Web 252
XVII Protestants Prevail 272
XVIII Gesner's Masterpiece 285
XIX New Pastures 294
XX Plantin's Team 313
XXI The Last of the Herbals 331
XXII English Achievements 347
XXIII The American Connection 359
XXIV The Beginning of the End 372
Epilogue 395
Chronology 405
Cast List 417
Notes 425
Bibliography 439
Acknowledgements 449
List of Illustrations 451
Index 457
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2014

    A very good read

    I am familiar with this book in its low tech beautifully illustrated version and see no reason you would not enjoy this investigation.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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