Collectors Harnessed: Research on the British Flora by Nineteenth-Century Amateur Botanists

  • David E. Allen

Abstract

Botany and geology have always enjoyed one great advantage over the third of the trio of studies to which the label ‘natural history’ eventually came to be restricted: unlike zoology, they have much more obvious practical utility. Geology, however, was a late-developer, for it began to cohere intellectually only as the eighteenth century was drawing to its close. Botany therefore had the field effectively to itself during the thousands of years in which it functioned as a branch of medicine, growing out of the need to distinguish the different kinds of herbs. As if it was not enough to form part of the best-regarded of all professions, it had a subsidiary usefulness in the guise of horticulture, with physic gardens acting as an intermediate domain in which two great streams of curiosity about the earth’s botanical riches converged to their mutual benefit.

Keywords

Europe Income Expense Hunt Willow 

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© David E. Allen 2005

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  • David E. Allen

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