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Darwin's Mentor: John Stevens Henslow, 1796-1861

Biography / Memoir

By: S M Walters and E A Stow

338 pages, Col illus, bw illus

Cambridge University Press

Hardback | Sep 2001 | #120040 | ISBN: 0521591465
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £103.00 $134/€117 approx

About this book

Portrait of the Professor of Botany who deeply impressed Darwin, remaining a friend to the end of Henslow's life.

'It is such a pleasure to read this book. It is sensual and sleek, beautifully printed on the finest paper, comprehensively (and not over-abundantly) illustrated, and written, with clarity and verve It has many fine-screen half-tones, beautifully photographed documents, fine colour pictures and the page design is impeccable Cambridge University Press and the authors deserve high praise for a thorough and diligent job well done.' Brian J. Ford, Biologist 'It is a satisfying read for anyone interested in the burgeoning and sometimes passionate history of science in the nineteenth century, larded with glimpses of Victorian social life and colourful characters.' Roy Herbert, New Scientist 'A fascinating and well-researched work '. Suffolk Journal ' the world is certainly richer with this book on its shelves.' Open History 'This fascinating study will place Henslow in his rightful context in the history of science '. John S. Parker, Cambridge 'Darwin students everywhere will need this book. So will those whose subject is Henslow.' Archives of Natural History 'Walter and Stow have written a valuable biography of a scientist who deserves to be better known in his own right.' Annals of Science 'The publishers are to be commended for such a lavish production, richly complemented by beautiful illustrations Strongly recommended.' Naturalist


Foreword P. Bateson; Preface; Acknowledgements; List of figures; List of colour plates; Part I. Origins: 1. Family background: growing up in Kent and London; Part II. Cambridge: 2. The young Henslow at Cambridge; 3. Henslow: men who influenced him at Cambridge; 4. Harriet; 5. The young Professor; 6. Educating Charles Darwin and others; 7. The middle years: politics, policing and publication; 8. The Botanic Garden: old and new; 9. A liberal churchman; Part III. Hitcham: 10. Early years as Rector of Hitcham; 11. The Rector; 12. The later years; Epilogue; Appendix 1. Genealogical tables; Appendix 2. Chronology; Appendix 3. Dramatis personae; Appendix 4. Eponymous taxa; Appendix 5. Local botanical records; Endnotes; Bibliography; Index.

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Max Walters has enjoyed a distinguished career at the University of Cambridge spanning thirty five years, beginning in 1948 when he was appointed Curator of the Herbarium in the Botany School and afterwards Lecturer in Botany, and culminating in 1983 when he retired from the position of Director of the University Botanic Garden, a post which he held for the previous 10 years. He held a Research Fellowship at St. John's, Henslow's own college, and after that an Official Fellowship at King's College. His interest in John Stevens Henslow was awakened during his preparation of his book The Shaping of Cambridge Botany (1981), which considers in part the role played by Henslow in establishing the University Botanic garden on its present site. His research at that time revealed that a new biography of Henslow was possible and desirable, but it was not until some 15 years later, having found a suitable and willing co-author in Anne Stow, that he decided to take up the challenge and begin work on a new biography of this remarkable academic, the first to be published for more than 25 years. Anne Stow, a Southampton graduate and a qualified librarian, is superbly positioned to join Max Walters in producing this biography of an eminent Cambridge scientist, having spent more than 30 years on the staff of the Scientific Periodicals Library (originally the Library of the Cambridge Philosophical Society) in the University of Cambridge, being Librarian for 15 years and gaining particular knowledge of the bibliography of science periodicals, and the science reference sources of the University Library and the Departmental Libraries. During much of this time she also worked closely with the Philosophical Society, one of whose founders was John Stevens Henslow, taking specific responsibility for their archives, book collection and archive index. Patrick Bateson is Provost of King's College, Cambridge and holds a Chair in the SubDepartment of Animal Behaviour, University of Cambridge.

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