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Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment : useful knowledge and polite culture

Author: John Gascoigne
Publisher: Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1994.
Edition/Format:   Book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
Joseph Banks's name is attached to various plant species and geographical locations around the world; he was a long-time president of the Royal Society, Privy Counsellor and adviser to the British government on a range of scientific and imperial issues. He was a driving force in the establishment of a penal colony at Botany Bay. Yet there are few monuments to him and while he has been the subject of a number of  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Named Person: Joseph Banks; Joseph Banks; Joseph Banks; Joseph Banks
Material Type: Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: John Gascoigne
ISBN: 0521450772 9780521450775
OCLC Number: 28723010
Description: xi, 324 p. : ill. ; 26 cm.
Contents: 1. Joseph Banks: A Biographical Sketch --
2. The Limits of Enlightenment --
3. From Virtuoso to Botanist --
4. From Antiquarian to Anthropologist --
5. The Principles and Practice of Improvement --
6. The Waning of the English Enlightenment
Responsibility: John Gascoigne.
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Abstract:

Joseph Banks's name is attached to various plant species and geographical locations around the world; he was a long-time president of the Royal Society, Privy Counsellor and adviser to the British government on a range of scientific and imperial issues. He was a driving force in the establishment of a penal colony at Botany Bay. Yet there are few monuments to him and while he has been the subject of a number of biographies, these have focused on his personal career rather than his relationship with some of the major movements of the period. This book places the work of Joseph Banks in the context of the Enlightenment. It aims at a better understanding of Banks himself as well as seeking to provide an analysis of some of the major scientific and cultural preoccupations of late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century British society. Banks's relation to the currents of thought associated with the Enlightenment is explored through a number of thematic chapters. These deal with the cultural ideal of the 'virtuoso' and the pursuit of natural history and anthropology, the practice of 'improvement' and the political and intellectual forces which contributed to the waning of the enlightenment in England.

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