Synopses & Reviews
Alexander von Humboldt became a wholly new kind of nineteenth-century hero - the scientist-explorer - and in Personal Narrative he invented a new literary genre, the travelogue. Between 1799 and 1804 he explored the tropical Spanish Americas, by his death in 1859 he had won international fame. He was the first European to discuss, draw and speculate on Aztec art, the first to observe reverse polarity in magnetism, the first to propagate the notion of seismic waves, the first to discover why America is called America. A true Romantic, an admirer of Rousseau and close friend of Goethe, Humboldt was a passionate observer, never a colonial despoiler, and his writings made a profound impact upon the course of Victorian science. This volume contains a fascinating selection from Humboldt's original 1,997 pages of Personal Narrative, in the first English translation to appear since 1851.
Alexander von Humboldt visited the tropics of the New World between 1799 and 1804. On his return he wrote this book, a classic work of travel that is also one of the great products of enlightenment natural science. This book looks at the man and his work.
Includes bibliographical references (p. lxx-lxxii).
Table of Contents
Translated by Jason Wilson with an Introduction by Malcolm Nicolson
Historical Introduction by Malcolm Nicolson
Introduction by Jason Wilson