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In 1835, at the very moment when Belgium was beginning to forge a separate identity and establish her own scientific institutions, a student, Jean Jules Linden (1817-98), found himself placed in charge of a pioneering botanical expedition to Brazil. The young man subsequently spent some ten years exploring countless unknown regions of Latin America, refining his knowledge and developing his love of orchids.
On his return to Belgium, Linden put this knowledge to good use, setting up an exotic plant business which flourished as collectors dispatched to all parts of the globe maintained a steady supply of specimens. His success as a horticulturist swiftly made him a key figure in scientific, political and economic circles. Further, his many publications still remain landmarks in orchid literature.
The present title draws on numerous archival documents and the explorers own recollections, with the addition of, amongst other material, magnificent illustrations from specialist journals and accounts of the period.