The Contented Botanist

Letters of W.H. Harvey about Australia and the Pacific

Sophie C Ducker
Hardback
Out of stock
The Contented Botanist
The Contented Botanist

Published

30 June 1984

ISBN

9780522843415

Weight

938g

Size

243mm x 166mm

Imprint

Miegunyah Press

The Contented Botanist

Letters of W.H. Harvey about Australia and the Pacific

Sophie C Ducker
William Henry Harvard (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 Williams 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…
William Henry Harvard (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 Williams 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 on 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 his 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.

Sophie C Ducker

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Hardback
Out of stock