Charles Darwin is best known for his work on the evolution of animals, but in fact a large part of his contribution to the natural sciences is focused on plants. His observations are crucial to our modern understanding of everything from the amazing pollination process of orchids to the way that vines climb.
Darwin and the Art of Botany collects writings from six often overlooked texts devoted entirely to plants, and pairs each excerpt with beautiful botanical art from the library at the Oak Spring Garden Foundation, creating a gorgeously illustrated volume that never existed in Darwin's own lifetime, and hasn't since. Evolutionary botanist and science historian James Costa brings his expertise to each entry, situating Darwin's words in the context of the knowledge and research of the time. The result is a new way of visualizing Darwin's work, and a greater understanding of the ways he's shaped our world.
Jim Costa is an evolutionary biologist, entomologist, and historian of science. He is executive director of the Highlands Biological Station in Highlands, North Carolina, and Professor of Evolutionary Biology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, North Carolina. A long-time Research Associate in entomology at Harvard's Museum of Comparative Zoology, he's the author of numerous scientific research papers and several books about Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace. He teaches biogeography and the history of evolutionary biology and lectures widely in the United States and Europe.
Bobbi Angell is a scientific illustrator, printmaker, instructor, and gardener. Drawing neotropical plants for botanists at New York Botanical Garden and other institutions led to her interest in Charles Darwin, recognizing species he might have seen in Brazil and elsewhere. Bobbi is coauthor of A Botanist's Vocabulary and her pen-and-ink illustrations have been published in floras including Vascular Plants of Central French Guiana, Vines and Climbing Plants of Puerto Rico, and Intermountain Flora. Bobbi lives in southern Vermont where she searches for, draws, and grows native and unusual plants. Visit her website at bobbiangell.com.
"This book is a must-read for anyone with an interest in Charles Darwin and or botanical history."
– Bird Booker Report