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John Ray, Naturalist: His Life and Works

Biography / Memoir

Series: Cambridge Library Collection - Botany and Horticulture

By: Charles E Raven

528 pages, 1 b/w illus

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Jul 2009 | #183108 | ISBN-13: 9781108004664
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £36.99 $48/€42 approx

About this book

A reprint of a classical work in the Cambridge Library Collection.

This biography of John Ray, the seventeenth-century naturalist, was first published in 1942 at the height of the Second World War. It was written by Charles Raven, an eminent theologian who shared Ray's deep respect for intellectual integrity, honest exploration of the natural world, and the value of both theology and scientific endeavour. More than a history, this offers an opportunity to reassess the pivotal contributions of a brilliant but often undervalued scientist. Ray's major publications were written in Latin; Raven's linguistic skills - coupled with his passion for natural history - made him ideally suited to interpret Ray's scientific legacy. Raven reviews Ray's academic and scientific careers in the context of the dramatic social upheavals of his time. He evaluates the remarkable long-term and widespread influence of Ray's work on the development of science, alongside the significance of his final book, The Wisdom of God.


Preface; Introduction; 1. Boyhood and youth; 2. At Cambridge University; 3. First studies in science; 4. The Cambridge Catalogue; 5. The years of travel; 6. The English Catalogue; 7. The years of varied output; 8. The structure and classification of plants; 9. The History of Plants; 10. The flora of Britain; 11. Last work in botany; 12. The Ornithology; 13. The History of Fishes; 14. Of mammals and reptiles; 15. The History of Insects; 16. Of fossils and geology; 17. The Wisdom of God; Conclusion; Index.

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