The Multifarious Mr. Banks

From Botany Bay to Kew, The Natural Historian Who Shaped the World

Toby Musgrave

View Inside Price: $35.00


June 9, 2020
496 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
48 color illus.
ISBN: 9780300223835
Hardcover

A fascinating life of Sir Joseph Banks which restores him to his proper place in history as a leading scientific figure of the English Enlightenment

As official botanist on James Cook's first circumnavigation, the longest-serving president of the Royal Society, advisor to King George III, the "father of Australia," and the man who established Kew as the world's leading botanical garden, Sir Joseph Banks was integral to the English Enlightenment. Yet he has not received the recognition that his multifarious achievements deserve.

In this engaging account, Toby Musgrave reveals the true extent of Banks’s contributions to science and Britain. From an early age Banks pursued his passion for natural history through study and extensive travel, most famously on the HMS Endeavour. He went on to become a pivotal figure in the advancement of British scientific, economic, and colonial interests. With his enquiring, enterprising mind and extensive network of correspondents, Banks’s reputation and influence were global. Drawing widely on Banks's writings, Musgrave sheds light on Banks’s profound impact on British science and empire in an age of rapid advancement.

Dr. Toby Musgrave is a plants and gardens historian, independent scholar, and consultant. He is the author or coauthor of ten books, including The Plant Hunters, An Empire of Plants, The Head Gardeners, Paradise Gardens, Green Escapes and Heritage Fruits and Vegetables.