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Natures Beloved Son: Rediscovering John Muirs Botanical Legacy
Synopses & Reviews
Cultural Writing. Natural History. Art. Images by Stephen J. Joseph; foreword by David Rains Wallace. Stunned into awe by the orchid Calypso borealis, John Muir wrote: "I never before saw a plant so full of life, so perfectly spiritual, it seemed pure enough for the throne of its Creator." Muir was blessed throughout his life with a love of plants. He tucked away interesting specimens from wherever he traveled, sent them to herbariums all over the country, and wrote passionately of them to friends and colleagues. Skilled in the technical aspects of botany, Muir also found in plants "pleasure so deep, so pure, so endless." The revelatory beauty of plants provided inspiration that suffused his career as a writer, adventurer, and environmental advocate. In this opulently produced book, photographer Stephen J. Joseph presents images of plants collected directly by Muir, while scholar Bonnie J. Gisel richly lays before us the life and words of a man at once familiar and surprising, a towering figure forever smitten with "nature's irresistible, divine beauty."
Book News Annotation:
Gisel, an environmental historian and specialist on John Muir, has compiled an engaging and beautifully presented account of his activities as a botanist, using a wealth of primary sources, and quoting frequently from his letters and other writings. The volume is oversized (9.25x12.25") and heavily illustrated with period photos, photos of his journals and, most notably, many smaller and full-page plates of the botanical specimens from his collection. A botanical bibliography and lengthy bibliography on Muir are included. Annotation ©2008 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A spectacular overview of John Muirs botanical collection from surviving samples found in herbaria around the country
John Muir was blessed early on with a love and aptitude for botany, a field of study that helped him become one of the most influential environmentalists in the world. Gisel and photographer Joseph present this spectacular overview of Muir's stunning botanical collection.
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