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The Brother Gardeners: Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsessionby Andrea Wulf
Synopses & Reviews
This is the fascinating story of a small group of eighteenth-century naturalists who made Britain a nation of gardeners and the epicenter of horticultural and botanical expertise. It’s the story of a garden revolution that began in America.
In 1733, the American farmer John Bartram dispatched two boxes of plants and seeds from the American colonies, addressed to the London cloth merchant Peter Collinson. Most of these plants had never before been grown in British soil, but in time the magnificent and colorful American trees, evergreens, and shrubs would transform the English landscape and garden forever. During the next forty years, Collinson and a handful of botany enthusiasts cultivated hundreds of American species. The Brother Gardeners follows the lives of six of these men, whose shared passion for plants gave rise to the English love affair with gardens. In addition to Collinson and Bartram, who forged an extraordinary friendship, here are Philip Miller, author of the best-selling Gardeners Dictionary; the Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus, whose standardized nomenclature helped bring botany to the middle classes; and Joseph Banks and Daniel Solander, who explored the strange flora of Brazil, Tahiti, New Zealand, and Australia on the greatest voyage of discovery of their time, aboard Captain Cook’s Endeavour.
From the exotic blooms in Botany Bay to the royal gardens at Kew, from the streets of London to the vistas of the Appalachian Mountains, The Brother Gardeners paints a vivid portrait of an emerging world of knowledge and of gardening as we know it today. It is a delightful and beautifully told narrative history.
"The Brother Gardeners" follows the lives of six 18th-century naturalists whose shared passion for plants gave rise to the English love affair with gardens. The text paints a vivid portrait of an emerging world of knowledge and of gardening as it is known today.
Bringing to life the science and adventure of eighteenth-century plant collecting, The Brother Gardeners is the story of how six men created the modern garden and changed the horticultural world in the process. Itis a story of a garden revolution that began in America.
In 1733, colonial farmer John Bartram shipped two boxes of precious American plants and seeds to Peter Collinson in London. Around thesemen formed the nucleus of a botany movement, which included famous Swedish botanist Carl Linnaeus; Philip Miller, bestselling author of The Gardeners Dictionary; and Joseph Banks and David Solander, twobotanist explorers, who scoured the globe for plant life aboard Captain Cook's Endeavor. As they cultivated exotic blooms from around the world, they helped make Britain an epicenter of horticultural andbotanical expertise. The Brother Gardeners paints a vivid portrait of an emerging world of knowledge and gardening as we know it today.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
About the Author
Andrea Wulf was born in India and moved to Germany as a child. She trained as a design historian at London's Royal College of Art and is coauthor (with Emma Gieben-Gamal) of This Other Eden: Seven Great Gardens and 300 Years of English History. She has written for The Sunday Times (London) and The Financial Times, and her reviews have appeared in numerous newspapers, including The Guardian, The Times Literary Supplement, and The Mail on Sunday. She appears regularly on BBC television and radio.
Table of Contents
Prologue: The Fairchild Mule — Pt. I. Roots — 1. Forget not Mee & My Garden — 2. The bright beam of gardening — 3. My harmless sexual system — 4. Pray go very Clean, neat & handsomely Dressed to Virginia — Pt. II. Growth — 5. All gardening in landscape-painting — 6. Send no Seeds for him ... all is att an End — 7. Commonwealth of Botany — 8. The English are all, more or less, gardeners — 9. See what a complete empire we have now got within ourselves — Pt. III. Harvest — 10. Ye who o'er Southern Ocean wander — 11. An Academy of Natural History — 12. As good-humored a mondescript Otatheitan as ever! — 13. Loves of the Plants.
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History and Social Science » Europe » Great Britain » General History