The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession

The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession

by Andrea Wulf
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The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession by Andrea Wulf

From the bestselling author of The Invention of Nature, a fascinating look at the men who made Britain teh center of the botanical world.

Bringing to life the science and adventure of eighteenth-century plant collecting, The Brother Gardeners is the story of how six men created the modern garden and changed the horticultural world in the process. It is a story of a garden revolution that began in America.
In 1733, colonial farmer John Bartram shipped two boxes of precious American plants and seeds to Peter Collinson in London. Around these men formed the nucleus of a botany movement, which included famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus; Philip Miller, bestselling author of The Gardeners Dictionary; and Joseph Banks and David Solander, two botanist explorers, who scoured the globe for plant life aboard Captain Cook’s Endeavor. As they cultivated exotic blooms from around the world, they helped make Britain an epicenter of horticultural and botanical expertise. The Brother Gardeners paints a vivid portrait of an emerging world of knowledge and gardening as we know it today.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307270238
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 9.20(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Andrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She trained as a design historian at London’s Royal College of Art .  She is also the author of The Invention of Nature: Alexander Von Humboldt's New World and Founding Gardeners: The Revolutionary Generation, Nature, and the Shaping of the American Nation and is coauthor (with Emma Gieben-Gamal) of This Other Eden: Seven Great Gardens and 300 Years of English History. She has written for The Sunday Times (London), the Wall Street Journal and The Financial Times, and she reviews for numerous newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Mail on Sunday. She appears regularly on BBC television and radio. The Brothers Gardeners was longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize in 2008.

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Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book documenting the historical facts around the importation of plants to England as well as the history of the scientific plant names. A great read for those who love history, gardening, English and American 18th century history. An easy read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
phlly12 More than 1 year ago
My interest in gardening and plants, coupled with my interest in history made this book intensely interesting to me. I was prompted to pick it up after a trip to John Bartram's Garden, in Philadelphia, now open to visitors. A wonderfully presented look back into time, and a surprise reveal that the beautiful estates and parks of Europe got their nursery stock from one man in the Colony!
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cannonball More than 1 year ago
This book describes how the introduction of the many new plant and flower species from the New World and Australia jump-kicked botany into a modern science and set off an English gardening craze that spread throughout Europe. The book is written in an easy-to-read, gossipy manner, so that the reader doesn't have to be a botanist to enjoy the prissy, nitpicking characters the author introduces. The book is nicely illustrated throughout. Fair warning: about half the bulk of the book is given over to a glossary, bibliography, notes, etc. The text is just shy of 250 pages.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am 50 percent through this book, and I find it exceedingly interesting on several levels--such as botany and taxonomy, botany and commerce/trade, botany and world travel (field ecology), botany and politics, botany and the upper class, botany and hothouses, botany and landscaping, naturalists, British history and U.S. history relating to botany. It is very well written. One may not necessarily agree with some of the themes as presented, but the wide range of material and the way it is presented is just amazing.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading this book. It was an area of history that is generally untouched on and of great interest to me.