The Contented Botanist: Letters of W.H. Harvey about Australia and the Pacific

The Contented Botanist: Letters of W.H. Harvey about Australia and the Pacific

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A 19th century scientist’s letters to eminent scientists about his travels.

The Contented Botanist: Letters of W.H. Harvey about Australia and the Pacific

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William Henry Harvey (1811-1866), a Professor of Botany from Dublin, Ireland, was a prolific letter writer, and during his career and particularly in his travels, he engaged in friendly correspondence with Sir William Hooker, Professor and Mrs Asa Gray and other outstanding scientists of his time. His specialities were the marine plants, the algae, but he was equally knowledgeable about higher plants. His published work on the Australian flora is an important milestone and occupies a significant place in the history of Australian science. The history of his preparation of Phycologia australica is told in Harvey's own words.

Until a few years ago the fate of Harvey's correspondence had been a mystery, but the letters from his travels were rediscovered by Dr Ducker in the Asa Gray Herbarium at Harvard University. They are well written, and interesting from a social/historical point of view, as well as for their scientific content. Here we have an insight into the enquiring mind of an outstanding Victorian botanist and his changing view of the world as a result of his extended travels. In Australia and the Pacific Islands he met all kinds of people, mixing with ticket-of-leave men during his walk from Fremantle to Albany, dining with the gentlemen of Port Phillip, visiting clergymen and botanists in Tasmania and convicts at Port Arthur; about all this he wrote with much vitality and good humour. Sophie Ducker exposes Harvey's love of life, nature and science and, it seems, also her own. 'Contented' is perfectly apt.

The letters selected for this book are unabridged. They are of national and international significance, not only to the scientific community, but also for their Australian and Pacific historical content.

Hardcover, 413pgs, well illustrated with pho graphs, maps, appendices, notes, bibliography, index. Near new.

Additional Information

Short Description A 19th century scientist’s letters to eminent scientists about his travels.
Weight (g) 937.0000
Author Sophie C. Ducker, editor
Publisher Melbourne University Press
Date Published 1988
ISBN 0522843417
Size 242mm x 162mm

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