June 28 , 2010

Joseph Banks


First time in ebook format. Sir Joseph Banks, botanist, explorer, President of the Royal Society and one of Australia's founding fathers, was among the most influential figures of the 18th and 19th centuries. As a young man, Sir Joseph Banks accompanied Captain Cook on his voyage of discovery to Australia; in later years he was instrumental in establishing Kew Gardens as the greatest botanical centre in the world, and he knew just about everybody who mattered in the scientific circles of the time. Patrick O'Brian's biography draws on much hitherto unpublished material. Far from being merely the colossus of science traditionally imagined, Joseph Banks emerges here as a warm-hearted enthusiast whose legacy survives not only in the record of his botanizing in the South Seas but in the development of the Australian continent and in the tenor and tradition of subsequent scientific enquiry.

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