Books  General Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel 

A Botanical Life: Robert David Fitzgerald

Art / PhotobookBiography / Memoir

By: Penny Olsen (Author)

160 pages, colour & b/w illustrations

National Library of Australia

Paperback | Apr 2013 | #206500 | ISBN-13: 9780642277718
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £33.99 $42/€38 approx

About this book

Robert David Fitzgerald (1830-1892) was a successful colonial surveyor who had arrived in Australia in 1856 as a young Irish immigrant of 25. He was employed by the Lands Department in New South Wales and, although he was an exemplary public servant, he was also one of the last of the Victorian-era gentlemen scientists: an avid naturalist, ornithologist and skilled taxidermist. In 1864, while searching for birds to add to his collection, he was inspired by the discovery of a clump of Rock Lilies (Dendrobium speciosum) to collect a number of other orchid specimens in the area.

Over the following years, Fitzgerald devoted his leisure time to botanical illustration and documented the orchids of Australia, publishing his discoveries in his internationally acclaimed work, Australian Orchids. In so doing, he corresponded and engaged with some of the great thinkers of his time, including Ferdinand von Mueller, George Bentham and Charles Darwin. A Botanical Life presents a short biography, followed by a portfolio section of more than 100 stunning full-colour images of flowers painted by Robert David Fitzgerald.

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