All Shops

Go to British Wildlife

6 issues per year 84 pages per issue Subscription only

British Wildlife is the leading natural history magazine in the UK, providing essential reading for both enthusiast and professional naturalists and wildlife conservationists. Published six times a year, British Wildlife bridges the gap between popular writing and scientific literature through a combination of long-form articles, regular columns and reports, book reviews and letters.

Subscriptions from £25 per year

Conservation Land Management

4 issues per year 44 pages per issue Subscription only

Conservation Land Management (CLM) is a quarterly magazine that is widely regarded as essential reading for all who are involved in land management for nature conservation, across the British Isles. CLM includes long-form articles, events listings, publication reviews, new product information and updates, reports of conferences and letters.

Subscriptions from £18 per year
Academic & Professional Books  Natural History  General Natural History

Ape to Apollo Aesthetics and the Idea of Race in the 18th Century

By: David Bindman
264 pages, 61 illustrations, 9 in colours
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Ape to Apollo
Click to have a closer look
Select version
  • Ape to Apollo ISBN: 9781861891402 Hardback Dec 2002 Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks
Selected version: £29.00
About this book Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

Cultural history of the rise of ideas of race in the 18th century, on the back of the discovery of great apes and other primates.

From the publisher's announcement:

`Race' was essentially a construction of the 18th century, a means by which the Enlightenment could impose rational order on human variety. In this book, the art historian David Bindman argues that ideas of beauty were from the beginning inseparable from race, as Europeans judged the civility and aesthetic capacity of other races by their appearance. These judgements were combined with a conflict between those who wished to order humanity into separate races, and those who believed in a common humanity whose differences were due to climatic and geographical variations. Central to this debate was the work of Linnaeus and Buffon, but it was also driven by the writings of the German art historian J. J. Winckelmann, who argued for the supremacy of the ancient Greeks, the Swiss physiognomist J. C. Lavater, who believed that moral character could be deduced from the study of a person's face, and by two scientists - the father and son Reinhold and Georg Forster - who had been on Captain Cook's second voyage to the South Seas in 1772-5.

During this time the philosopher Immanuel Kant attempted the first modern definition of race, a definition which was challenged by Georg Forster and the philosopher J. G. von Herder, sparking a lively but astonishingly little-known controversy that went on through the next decade and beyond. The 1770s also saw the beginnings of a more scientific yet also profoundly aesthetic approach to race in the work of Johann Friedrich Blumenbach and Pieter Camper, whose notorious classification of skulls was, despite their own liberalism, to become the basis of 19th-century `racial science'.

Ape to Apollo provides a refreshing and original view of a highly contentious subject. It will be essential reading for anyone seeking the origins of today's controversies over race and ideas of beauty.

David Bindman is Professor of History of Art at University College London. He is the author of books on 18th-century sculpture, the French Revolution, Hogarth and William Blake.

Customer Reviews

By: David Bindman
264 pages, 61 illustrations, 9 in colours
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Current promotions
Best of Winter 2018Harper CollinsOrder your free copy of our 2018 equipment catalogueBritish Wildlife