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Academic & Professional Books  Natural History  General Natural History

Worlds of Natural History

By: Helen Anne Curry(Editor), Nicholas Jardine(Editor), James A Secord(Editor), Emma C Spary(Editor)
656 pages, 16 plates with 20 colour photos and colour illustrations; 130 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 1 table
Worlds of Natural History
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  • Worlds of Natural History ISBN: 9781316649718 Paperback Nov 2018 Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Worlds of Natural History ISBN: 9781316510315 Hardback Nov 2018 Usually dispatched within 6 days
Selected version: £110.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

From Aztec accounts of hibernating hummingbirds to contemporary television spectaculars, human encounters with nature have long sparked wonder, curiosity and delight. Written by leading scholars, this richly illustrated volume offers a lively introduction to the history of natural history, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Covering an extraordinary range of topics, from curiosity cabinets and travelling menageries to modern seed banks and radio-tracked wildlife, Worlds of Natural History draws together the work of historians of science, of environment and of art, museum curators and literary scholars. The essays are framed by an introduction charting recent trends in the field and an epilogue outlining the prospects for the future. Accessible to newcomers and established specialists alike, Worlds of Natural History provides a much-needed perspective on current discussions of biodiversity and an enticing overview of an increasingly vital aspect of human history.


Introduction: worlds of history / Nicholas Jardine and Emma Spary

Part I. Early Modern Ventures
1. Visions of ancient natural history / Brian W. Ogilvie
2. Gessner's history of nature / Sachiko Kusukawa
3. Natural history in the apothecary's shop / Valentina Pugliano
4. Horticultural networking and sociable citation / Leah Knight
5. European exchanges and communities / Florike Egmond
6. Making monsters / Natalie Lawrence
7. Indigenous naturalists / Iris Montero Sobrevilla
8. Insects, philosophy and the microscope / Eric Jorink

Part II. Enlightened Orders
9. The materials of natural history / Paula Findlen and Anna Toledano
10. Experimental natural history / Mary Terrall
11. Spatial arrangement and systematic order / Robert Felfe
12. Linnaean paper tools / Staffan Müller-Wille
13. Image and nature / Kärin Nickelsen
14. Botanical conquistadors / Daniela Bleichmar
15. Bird sellers and animal merchants / Christopher Plumb
16. Vegetable empire / Miles Ogborn

Part III. Publics and Empires
17. Containers and collections / Anne Secord
18. Natural history and the scientific voyage / Katharine Anderson
19. Humboldt's exploration at a distance / Sandra Rebok
20. Publics and practices / Lynn K. Nyhart
21. Museum nature / Samuel J. M. M. Alberti
22. Peopling natural history / Sadiah Qureshi
23. The oils of empire / Sujit Sivasundaram

Part IV. Connecting and Conserving:
24. Global geology and the tectonics of empire / James A. Secord
25. Zoological gardens / Mitchell G. Ash
26. Provincializing global botany / Jung Lee
27. Descriptive and prescriptive taxonomies / Jim Endersby
28. Imperiled crops and endangered flowers / Helen Anne Curry
29. Networks of natural history in Latin America / Regina Horta Duarte
30. The unnatural history of postwar human biology / Joanna Radin
31. Fieldwork out of place / Etienne Benson
32. Wild visions / Morgan Richards

Epilogue: natural history and its histories in the twenty-first century / Helen Anne Curry and James A. Secord

Customer Reviews


Helen Anne Curry is the Peter Lipton Senior Lecturer in History of Modern Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. Nicholas Jardine is emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of the Sciences at the University of Cambridge. James A. Secord is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. E. C. Spary is Reader in the History of Modern European Knowledge at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.

- Nicholas Jardine
- Emma Spary
- Brian W. Ogilvie
- Sachiko Kusukawa
- Valentina Pugliano
- Leah Knight
- Florike Egmond
- Natalie Lawrence
- Iris Montero Sobrevilla
- Eric Jorink
- Paula Findlen
- Anna Toledano
- Mary Terrall
- Robert Felfe
- Staffan Müller-Wille
- Kärin Nickelsen
- Daniela Bleichmar
- Christopher Plumb
- Miles Ogborn
- Anne Secord
- Katharine Anderson
- Sandra Rebok
- Lynn K. Nyhart
- Samuel J. M. M. Alberti
- Sadiah Qureshi
- Sujit Sivasundaram
- James A. Secord
- Mitchell G. Ash
- Jung Lee
- Jim Endersby
- Helen Anne Curry
- Regina Horta Duarte
- Joanna Radin
- Etienne Benson
- Morgan Richards

By: Helen Anne Curry(Editor), Nicholas Jardine(Editor), James A Secord(Editor), Emma C Spary(Editor)
656 pages, 16 plates with 20 colour photos and colour illustrations; 130 b/w photos and b/w illustrations, 1 table
Media reviews

"This massive, comprehensive, and extremely rich collection of essays features a stellar cast of contributors who have created a worthy sequel to Cultures of Natural History. From its elegant introduction to its colorful chapters and provocative afterword on the continuing vitality of natural history in the twenty-first century, this book fascinates and instructs. Dazzled by its contents, readers will have a difficult time deciding which compartment in this cabinet of curiosities to open first. This is scholarship in the history of science at its finest."
– Bernard Lightman, Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, President of the History of Science Society, and York University

"This volume offers a cornucopia of new approaches to writing the history of natural history from the Renaissance to today. With attention to shifting epistemologies and material cultures, it situates ancient traditions of collecting, classifying, and preserving nature in relation to the modern biological and earth sciences. In our present era of vanishing biological diversity, the authors consider the lessons of the past for the future of both elite and popular scientific institutions, from seed banks to museums and zoos."|
– Deborah R. Coen, Yale University, Connecticut

"Worlds of Natural History comes as close as is humanly possible to living up to its title. The essays illuminate almost every aspect of the vast enterprise of natural history, from collecting, networking, and voyaging to preserving, image-making, and classifying. Its sites are as various as the Renaissance apothecary's shop and the contemporary genetics lab; its locales criss-cross the globe. This book crystallizes decades of historical scholarship, and is the single best introduction to the topic."
– Lorraine Daston, Director, Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, Berlin

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