From the New York Times bestselling author of The Invention of Nature, comes a breathtakingly illustrated and brilliantly evocative recounting of Alexander Von Humboldt's five year expedition in South America.
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) was an intrepid explorer and the most famous scientist of his age. His restless life was packed with adventure and discovery, but his most revolutionary idea was a radical vision of nature as a complex and interconnected global force that does not exist for the use of humankind alone. His theories and ideas were profoundly influenced by a five-year exploration of South America. Now Andrea Wulf partners with artist Lillian Melcher to bring this daring expedition to life, complete with excerpts from Humboldt's own diaries, atlases, and publications. She gives us an intimate portrait of the man who predicted human-induced climate change, fashioned poetic narrative out of scientific observation, and influenced iconic figures such as Simón Bolívar, Thomas Jefferson, Charles Darwin, and John Muir. This gorgeous account of the expedition not only shows how Humboldt honed his groundbreaking understanding of the natural world but also illuminates the man and his passions.
About the Author
ANDREA WULF lives in London. She is the author of Chasing Venus, Founding Gardeners, The Brother Gardeners, which was long-listed for the Samuel Johnson Prize and awarded the American Horticultural Society Book Award, and The Invention of Nature, a national best seller that won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, the Costa Biography Award, and the Royal Geographical Society Ness Award and was named one of The New York Times Top 10 Books of the Year. She has written for The New York Times, the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the Los Angeles Times.
LILLIAN MELCHER is an illustrator living and working in Brooklyn, New York. When she is not obsessively painting her life away or designing a new toy, she likes to laugh at medieval Iconography at the Met. Lillian graduated with honors with a degree in illustration from Parsons the New School for Design.