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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.