5 1/2" x 8 1/2"
The Adventurous Travels of Marianne North, Botanical Artist
A delightful and informative trek across the globe by a witty, intelligent, and courageous Victorian artist and adventurer.
In 1871, at age 41, Marianne North, an artist with a keen interest in botany, decided to travel the world on a quest to paint as many plants and flowers as she could find in their natural habitat. Encouraged by scientific friends such as Charles Darwin, North travelled by boat, train, mule, and palanquin and on foot to every continent except Antarctica. She circled the globe twice over fifteen years, parasol and easel in hand, and accumulated an extensive and valuable collection of paintings. In 1882, North provided a building to the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, to house her more than 800 works (showing more than 900 unique plant species); the Marianne North Gallery is still a centerpiece of the gardens and a popular destination. The scientific accuracy with which she documented plant life in all parts of the world, before photography became a practical option, gives her work a permanent value.
North also wrote detailed journals about her travels, which her sister collected and published in three volumes after her death. This book collects the best and most interesting writings from those journals in one volume. Included here are North’s notes of her adventures in Brazil, California, Japan, India, Borneo, Australia, South Africa, and Chile. In entertaining and enlightening prose, North not only provides rich descriptions of local botanical treasures but also regales readers with her delightful accounts of local people and customs, as well as her exhausting and sometimes dangerous travel. High-spirited, indefatigable, and wise, Marianne North offers a precious window into Victorian culture and society, as well as a valuable and respected botanical record. Of interest to botanists, gardeners, historians, and armchair travellers, Abundant Beauty is a fascinating and informative read.
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