Books  General Natural History  History of Science 

Christopher Tärnström's Journal - A Passage Between Europe and East Asia in the Year 1746

Biography / Memoir

By: K Söderpalm

263 pages, Col & b/w illus, maps

IK Foundation & Co Ltd

Hardback | Dec 2005 | #152423 | ISBN: 1904145078
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £102.00 $125/€115 approx

About this book

Language: Swedish with English summary

Christopher Tarnstrom (1711 -1746) was the first of Linnaeus' followers to be instructed to study and document flora and fauna outside Europe, hence the name the first Linnaeus apostle.
Tarnstrom travelled as ship's chaplain on the East Indies Ship Calmar. The ship sailed from Gothenburg in Sweden for China on 13 February 1746. Unfortunately the Calmar was too late to take advantage of the southwest monsoon winds between Sumatra and Java and was forced to find a winter birth in the Pulo Condor islands not far from what is now known as Con San in Vietnam. The Calmar stayed here until mid April the following year, and when she did leave port it was without her ship's chaplain! Following a few weeks illness, Tarnstrom died at the age of 35 on 4 December 1746. He was buried not far from their camp in Calmare Bay.

After four years of careful research, Kristina Soderpalm has transcribed all Tarnstrom's material and this will be the first time that the work has been made available in Swedish. Life on board as described in Tarnstrom's journals is arguably better than any other 18th century descriptions. The journals are also personal diaries in as much as he describes his own feelings and thoughts. His ambitions with respect to the study of nature and how field studies a la Linnaeus were carried out, are particularly well described in his notes from Cadiz and in even more detail from Pulo Condor (Vietnam).

The book includes an introduction, Tarnstrom's Journals, comments, sourses, related literature and an appendix that includes Tarnstrom's instructions; pay role; mealtimes, Anders Gadd's story from Pulo Condor including a Swedish-Candorian dictionary.

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