Cultures of Natural History

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N. Jardine, J. A. Secord, E. C. Spary
Cambridge University Press, Jan 26, 1996 - History - 501 pages
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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. 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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Contents

The natures of cultural history
3
CURIOSITY ERUDITION AND UTILITY
15
Emblematic natural history of the Renaissance
17
The culture of gardens
38
Courting nature
57
The culture of curiosity
75
Physicians and natural history
91
Natural history as print culture
106
New spaces in natural history
249
Minerals strata and fossils
266
Humboldtian science
287
Biogeography and empire
305
Travelling the other way
322
Ethnological encounters
338
Equipment for the field
358
Artisan botany
378

VIRTUOSITY IMPROVEMENT AND SENSIBILITY
125
Natural history in the academies
127
Carl Linnaeus in his time and place
145
Gender and natural history
163
Political natural and bodily economies
178
The science of man
197
The natural history of the earth
211
Naturphilosophie and the kingdoms of nature
230
DISCIPLINE DISCOVERY AND DISPLAY
247
Tastes and crazes
394
Nature for the people
408
Natural history and the new biology
426
EPILOGUE
445
The crisis of nature
447
Notes
460
Index
495
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University of Cambridge

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