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This lavishly illustrated volume is the first systematic general work to do justice to the fruits of recent scholarship in the history of natural history. From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, this wide ranging survey links the history of science to art history, museum practice and environmental issues.
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'For years I have wished for some single text or volume to which I could send students to introduce them to the full diversity and richness of 'natural history'. This collection should serve as the starting point for a deeper enquiry into this topic for many years ... I have rarely been moredelighted with a set of papers. The editors are to be commended for thisconsiderable addition to the literature.' The British Journal for the History of Science
'... an excellent introduction to the history of natural history and a revealing guide to current scholarly preoccupations.' The Times Literary Supplement
' ... present work ... is excellent of its kind, well written and handsomely illustrated.' Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
This lavishly illustrated volume is the first systematic general work to do justice to the fruits of recent scholarship in the history of natural history. Public interest in this lively field has been stimulated by environmental concerns and through links with the histories of art, collecting and gardening. Twenty-four specially commissioned essays cover the period from the sixteenth century, when the first institutions of natural history were created, to its late nineteenth-century transformation by practitioners of the new biological sciences. An introduction discusses novel approaches that have made this a major focus for research in cultural history. The essays, which include suggestions for further reading, offer a coherent and accessible overview of a fascinating subject. An epilogue highlights the relevance of this wide-ranging survey for current debates on museum practice, the display of ecological diversity, and concerns about the environment.
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