Books  Regional Natural History  Natural History of the Americas 

Conquering Nature in Spain and Its Empire, 1750 - 1850

By: Helen Cowie(Author)

234 pages, 20 b/w illustrations

Manchester University Press

Paperback | Aug 2011 | #202677 | ISBN-13: 9780719084935
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NHBS Price: £59.99 $81/€68 approx

About this book

Conquering Nature in Spain and Its Empire, 1750 - 1850 examines the study of natural history in the Spanish empire in the years 1750-1850. During this period, Spain made strenuous efforts to survey, inventory and exploit the natural productions of her overseas possessions, orchestrating a serries of scientific expeditions and cultivating and displaying American fauna and flora in metropolitan gardens and museums. Conquering Nature in Spain and Its Empire, 1750 - 1850 assesses the cultural significance of natural history, emphasising the figurative and utilitarian value with which eighteenth-century Spaniards invested natural objects, from globetrotting elephants to three-legged chickens. It considers how the creation, legitimisation and dissemination of scientific knowledge reflected broader questions of imperial power and national identity. Conquering Nature in Spain and Its Empire, 1750 - 1850 will be of particular interest to scholars and students of Spanish and Latin American History, the History of Science and Imperial Culture


1. Morals and monuments
2. Sloth bones and anteater tongues
3. Nature on display
4. Peripheral vision
5. The creole conundrum
6. Civilisation and barbarism
7. Naturalistes sans frontieres


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Helen Cowie is a Research Fellow in History at the University of Plymouth. She is the author of Exhibiting Animals in Nineteenth-Century Britain.

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