The Brother Gardeners : Botany, Empire and the Birth of an Obsession
by Andrea Wulf
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One January morning, in 1734, fabric merchant Peter Collinson hurried down to the House’s Custom London Docks to look for freight just to arrive from John Bartram to the American colonies.But it wasn’t cotton balls waiting for him, but the plants and seedsOver the next forty years, Bartram would send hundreds of species from America to England, where Collinson was one of a handful of men who would foster a national obsession and alter the gardens of Britain forever: Philip Miller, author of the best-selling Jardiniers Dictionary; the Swede Carl von Linné, of whom standardised on the botanical nomenclature popularised botany; the botanist adventurer Joseph Banks and his colleague Daniel Solander, who both explored the strange flora of TaIt is the story of these men – friends, rivals, enemies, united by a passion for plantsIn the context of the emergence of the empire and the unknown, beyond the world, Le Frère de Jardiniers tells the story of how Great Britain became a nation of gardeners.
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