The Natures of John and William Bartram

The Natures of John and William Bartram

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
A study of the natural world of early America is viewed through the lives and work of two eighteenth-century botanical explorers, father and son, and their differing views on science, religion, natural philosophy, environmental ethics, and more.

Blackwell North Amer
John Bartram was the greatest collecting botanist of his day, and personally introduced fully one quarter of all the plants that reached Europe from the New World during the colonial period. He established one of the first botanical gardens in America and turned it into a commercial nursery, linking Europe and America with a mail-order business in seeds and plants. He was a founding member of the American Philosophical Society, a Quaker disowned by his Meeting for heresy, and a central character in Crevecoeur's Letters from an American Farmer.
His son William was America's first great native-born natural historian and important painter of nature, developing his own surrealist style. He was the author of Travels, America's first significant book of natural history - a work that inspired the poems of Wordsworth and Coleridge, provided wilderness settings for the novels of Charles Brockden Brown and James Fenimore Cooper, and influenced the nature-based philosophy of Emerson and Thoreau.
Through the lives of the Bartrams, Slaughter illuminates changing American attitudes toward science, religion, nature, and commerce. He also addresses questions of parenthood, race and gender relations, and evocations of the self. Tracing the origins of environmental ethics, often believed to be distinctively modern, to the early nineteenth century, he portrays the two Bartrams as philosophical innovators in their opposition - considered radical at the time - to sport-hunting and the wholesale destruction of rattlesnakes, and in their beliefs in the volition of plants and the common spirit animating all living things.
The Bartrams' attempts to find both salvation and a living in nature, and their relationship - sometimes strained, sometimes touching - make for a moving story about the conjunction of nature with human nature and about the intellectual and emotional origins of their thought and spiritual outlook. This is what it meant to be a father, a son, a seeker of purpose and meaning, in that time long ago when the verdant wilderness still covered much of the North American continent.

& Taylor

Explores the lives of the early American naturalists John Bartram and his son William

Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1996
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780679430452
Branch Call Number: 920 BAR
Characteristics: xx, 304 p. : ill. ; 24 cm


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