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Nature's Interpreter: The Life and Times of Alexander von Humboldt

Biography / Memoir

By: Donald McCrory

242 pages, b/w illustrations

The Lutterworth Press

Paperback | Nov 2010 | #189500 | ISBN-13: 9780718892319
Availability: Usually dispatched within 2-3 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £32.00 $42/€36 approx

About this book

This is the first English-language biography to open up areas of Von Humboldt's life and work previously only accessible to those with knowledge of Spanish, German, and French (the languages Von Humboldt employed to compile his works). Full of new perspectives, Dr McCrory's biography reveals the achievements of a remarkable European whose thirst for knowledge was as deep as his passion to help his fellow man.

Inspired by the life and times of Alexander von Humboldt, 1769-1859 , this biography follows Von Humboldt, who is considered the father of the natural sciences and in his day was as well known as Napoleon, and traces his childhood in what was then Prussia, his education at various Universities, his training as a mining engineer, and how he progressed into the sciences. During the Age of Enlightenment, Von Humboldt's journey to South America between 1799 and 1804 with Aime Bonpland, changed the course of both their lives and during this period of exploration, they sent back to Paris and Berlin some 6,000 samples of new species, minerals and animals. En route the scientists collected a mass of detailed information 'cartographical, geological, astronomical, botanical, anthropological and linguistic,' that took a life time to decipher.

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Having studied modern languages and received a BA from Birkbeck and a Master's Degree from Kings College London, Donald McCrory went on to teach in schools and colleges before being appointed as Head of Modern Languages at the Americal International University in London in 1984. Previous works include books on European writers, with a focus on biographies, such as Miguel de Cervantes in 2002, as well as publishing works in modern language journals. McCrory has now taken early retirement to focus on writing and on the study of modern languages.

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