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The Letters of Sir Joseph Banks: A Selection, 1768-1820

Biography / Memoir

Edited By: Neil Chambers

420 pages, B/w photos, illus, maps

Imperial College Press

Hardback | Jan 2001 | #106989 | ISBN: 1860942040
Availability: Usually dispatched within 5 days Details
NHBS Price: £47.99 $63/€54 approx

About this book

Sir Joseph Banks was a man of science, of affairs, and of letters. He circumnavigated the globe with Lieutenant James Cook on H.M.S. Endeavour, 1768-1771, taking with him a team of naturalists, illustrators and assistants at a personal cost of £10,000. Together they made unprecedented collections of flora and fauna in many of the places H.M.S. Endeavour visited. Banks was at the scientific and social centre of Georgian life for more than five decades. He developed a global network of correspondence, using letters to further knowledge, and ultimately to shape events in the cause of empire. This selection will introduce many readers to a deeply impressive figure, who is rapidly being recognized as one of the great men of his age.

This selection helps to restore to the map of late eighteenth-century and early nineteenth-century intellectual life a figure too long absent and a great master of the art of letter-writing. It offers a glimpse of the long-submerged epistolary riches that provide such insight into the character of a remarkable individual and his age. Nature, 2001 "Browsing through these letters gives a splendid indication of Banks's changing and comprehensive interests ... this will do much to establish Banks's reputation in his native country." Notes and Records of The Royal Society, 2002 "... the current volume should be warmly welcomed by Banks scholars and more general readers alike as early fruit of the Banks Archive Project. It is to be hoped that the Project will succeed in making the rich diversity of Banksian correspondence available to further promote understanding of the man, his exploits and his historical significance." The British Journal for the History of Science, Jun 2002

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