Synopses & Reviews
When Columbus first returned to Europe from the Caribbean, he presented King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with exotic parrots, tropical flowers, and bits of gold. The search for riches spurred Columbus and other voyagers to ply the oceans with similar ambitions. These seafarers continued to return with specimens of mysterious plants and animals encountered in the New World. Curiosity began to percolate through Europe. The Church, long fearful of challenges to its authority, could no longer suppress the mantra “Dare to know!” Recounting the triumphs and mishaps of these explorers, including Magellan’s murder during the first circumnavigation of the globe, eminent historian Joyce Appleby tells of the often fraught meetings of Europeans with native populations. Her book follows the naturalists, both famous and obscure, whose investigations of the world’s fauna and flora fueled the rise of science and technology that propelled western Europe toward modernity.
A compelling history of the European explorations that ignited curiosity about nature and science, ultimately leading to the theory of evolution.
An engrossing history of the voyages of exploration that ignited curiosity about nature and gave birth to modern science.
When Columbus first returned to Spain from the Caribbean, he dazzled King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with exotic parrots, tropical flowers, and bits of gold. Inspired by the promise of riches, countless seafarers poured out of the Iberian Peninsula and wider Europe in search of spices, treasure, and land. Many returned with strange tales of the New World.
About the Author
Joyce Appleby is a professor of history emerita at UCLA and the author of The Relentless Revolution: A History of Capitalism and coauthor of Telling the Truth about History, among many other works. A former president of the American History Association, she was awarded the 2009 Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. Prize for distinguished writing in American history from the Society of American Historians. She lives in Taos, New Mexico.