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Views of Nature by Alexander von Humboldt

Alexander von Humboldt’s Views of Nature was his best-known work in the 19th Century. Written for both a literary and scientific audience, it was Humboldt’s personal favorite among his numerous volumes. It was translated into English (twice) and French in the mid-19th Century, and was read widely in Europe and the Americas, influencing artists, poets, essayists, novelists, and scientists alike. The English versions of Ansichten have been out of print since the late 19th Century, in contrast to many of Humboldt’s more technical works (e.g., Cosmos, Personal Narrative, Essay on the Geography of Plants, Political Essay on the Kingdom of New Spain). Humboldt’s contributions to the humanities and the sciences, largely neglected in the U.S. for the past century, are undergoing a revival and this book represents a critical contribution in this context. For example, the book’s extensive footnotes incorporate some of Humboldt’s most mature thinking about vegetation structure, its origins in climate patterns, and its implications for the visual and written arts. The main essays are remarkable in their own right as influential and innovative works in the tradition of Anglo-American nature writing, and were cited by Thoreau as a model for his own work.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780226923185
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Publication date: 07/17/2014
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 729,380
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Stephen T. Jackson is professor emeritus of botany and ecology at the University of Wyoming and the editor of von Humboldt’s Essay on the Geography of Plants. He lives in Tucson, AZ. Laura Dassow Walls is the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and the author of several books, including The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America. She lives in Granger, IN. Mark W. Person is associate academic professional lecturer in German in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and director of the language lab at the University of Wyoming. He lives in Laramie, WY.

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