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The invention of nature : the adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the lost hero of science

Author: Andrea Wulf
Publisher: London : John Murray, 2015.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Alexander von Humboldt (1769-1859) is the great lost scientist: more things are named after him than anyone else. There are towns, rivers, mountain ranges, the ocean current that runs along the South American coast, there's a penguin, a giant squid - even the Mare Humboldtianum on the moon. His colourful adventures read like something out of a Boy's Own story: Humboldt explored deep into the rainforest, climbed the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Alexander von Humboldt; Alexander von Humboldt; Alexander von Humboldt
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Andrea Wulf
ISBN: 9781848548985 1848548982
OCLC Number: 917374709
Awards: Winner of Costa Prize: Biography 2016 (UK)
Winner of Royal Society Prize for Science Books 2016 (UK)
Description: xix, 473 pages, 8 pages of unnumbered plates : illustrations (some color), maps (some color) ; 24 cm
Contents: Part I: Departure: Emerging ideas. 1. Beginnings --
2. Imagination and nature: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and Humboldt --
3. In search of a destination. Part II: Arrival: Collecting ideas. 4. South America --
5. The Llanos and the Orinoco --
6. Across the Andes --
7. Chimborazo --
8. Politics and nature: Thomas Jefferson and Humboldt. Part III: Return: Sorting ideas. 9. Europe --
10. Berlin --
11. Paris --
12. Revolutions and nature: Simon Bolivar and Humboldt --
13. London --
14. Going in circles: Maladie Centrifuge. Part IV: Influence: Spreading ideas. 15. Return to Berlin --
16. Russia --
17. Evolution and nature: Charles Darwin and Humboldt --
18. Humboldt's Cosmos --
19. Poetry, science and nature: Henry David Thoreau and Humboldt. Part V: New worlds: Evolving ideas. 20. The greatest man since the deluge --
21. Man and nature: George Perkins Marsh and Humboldt --
22. Art, ecology and nature: Ernst Haeckel and Humboldt --
23. Preservation and nature: John Muir and Humboldt.
Responsibility: Andrea Wulf.


Before Longitude no one remembered John Harrison. The Invention of Nature does the same for Alexander von Humboldt  Read more...
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Publisher Synopsis

Historians of science have long recognized the naturalist and traveller Alexander von Humboldt as a pivotal figure in the history of science, but for too long he has been undervalued in the Read more...

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