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Good Reads  Natural History  Biography, Exploration & Travel

Shirley The Life of a Botanical Adventurer

Biography / Memoir New
By: Shirley Sherwood(Author), Ivan Fallon(Co-Author)
311 pages, 56 plates with colour & b/w photos and colour & b/w illustrations
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  • Shirley ISBN: 9781911397892 Hardback Jan 2024 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
Price: £25.00
About this book Customer reviews Related titles

About this book

Shirley: The Life of a Botanical Adventurer is the story of Dr Shirley Sherwood, a remarkable woman who, after studying biology at Oxford, spent twelve years working as a research scientist and key member of the Nobel Prize-winning team which developed Tagamet, the first blockbuster drug (sales of over $1 billion a year) and one the most successful in the history of the pharmaceutical industry. At the age of 45, she left science to co-found, with her husband Jim Sherwood, the fabled OrientExpress train of Agatha Christie and James Bond fame. It was the beginning of a new career in the hotel and leisure business, culminating in the sale of the Orient-Express Hotels (now Belmond), a 50-strong chain of five-star hotels including the Cipriani in Venice, for $3.2 billion in 2019.

In 1990 she started the Shirley Sherwood Collection of contemporary botanical art which now includes over 1,000 paintings and drawings representing the work of more than 300 contemporary botanical artists from 36 countries. Dr Sherwood has exhibited her collection in many prestigious locations including the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, Kirstenbosch in Cape Town and the Real Jardin Botanico, Madrid. She has also written many books and articles on botanical art over her years of collecting and her history of the Orient-Express train has sold over 400,000 copies.

The Shirley Sherwood Gallery in Kew Gardens is the first museum to be dedicated to modern botanical art and attracts many thousands of visitors a year.

Customer Reviews

Biography / Memoir New
By: Shirley Sherwood(Author), Ivan Fallon(Co-Author)
311 pages, 56 plates with colour & b/w photos and colour & b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"Shirley Sherwood put botanical art firmly back on the agenda with her incredible collection and her unremitting quest for only the very best."
– Sir Roy Strong CH FRSL

"A remarkable and sophisticated life of science, travel and passion for the best of contemporary botanical art."
– Sir Peter Crane FRS

"Shirley is an inspiration in how to use one's gifts wisely and live life well. Her memoir is a delight."
– Dame Mary Archer

"this is a compelling tale of a life rich in incident and bravery"
– Steven Desmond

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