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About this book
About this book
This vibrant study explores the way in which European knowledge of the natural world was transformed during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. Based on a large collection of primary source material (mainly correspondence) Egmond investigates horticultural techniques, fashions in the collection of rare plants, botanical experimentation and methods of scientific evaluation, as well as tracking the exchange of knowledge. Central to this activity is the figure of Carolus Clusius (1526-1609), the first truly scientific botanist. The transformation of people's everyday experience with plants is shown through the practical manifestations of this newly found fervour: the growth of collecting, garden display and fascination with the rare and exotic.
Introduction I The Southern Netherlands 1The Garden of Europe: Botany as a Courtly Fashion in the Southern Netherlands 2 Expert Gardeners: Growing Rare Plants during the late Sixteenth Century II Habsburg Women 3 Women in the Garden: Noble Women and the Passion for Plants 4 Female Experts: Elegance and Rivalry III Italy 5 Growing Expertise: Gardeners, Collectors, Naturalists 6 Nature in the Garden: The Rise of the Expert Naturalist IV France 7 Fieldwork in France: Exploring the Indigenous Flora 8 French Collectors between Port and Court: The Desire for Rarity V Holland 9 Dutch Ports: Curiosity and the Exotic 10 Town and Gown: Leiden and the Convergence of European Cultural Traditions VI Beyond Place 11 Interlocking Networks: London and Amsterdam 12 Spanning the World: Dealing with Exotics Conclusion