Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

Author: Alexander Humboldt
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141961023
Format: PDF
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One of the greatest nineteenth-century scientist-explorers, Alexander von Humboldt traversed the tropical Spanish Americas between 1799 and 1804. By the time of his death in 1859, he had won international fame for his scientific discoveries, his observations of Native American peoples and his detailed descriptions of the flora and fauna of the 'new continent'. The first to draw and speculate on Aztec art, to observe reverse polarity in magnetism and to discover why America is called America, his writings profoundly influenced the course of Victorian culture, causing Darwin to reflect: 'He alone gives any notion of the feelings which are raised in the mind on first entering the Tropics'.

Penguin Classics

Author: Anonymous
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101578149
Format: PDF
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A Complete Annotated Listing More than 1,500 titles in print Authoritative introductions and notes by leading academics and contemporary authors Up-to-date translations from award-winning translators Readers guides and other resources available online Penguin Classics on air online radio programs

The Species Seekers Heroes Fools and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth

Author: Richard Conniff
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 0393341321
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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From the mid-eighteenth century to the dawn of the twentieth, a handful of adventurers traveled the world on a mission to discover and classify new species. These motley figures, who were often amateurs rather than trained experts, counted among their ranks a grave-robbing anatomist who became the model for Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, a Catholic missionary who held off bandits at gunpoint, and a British ornithologist who jammed his left arm down the throat of a charging leopard - but happily was still able to play a good game of tennis. As Conniff shows, these adventurers were part of a larger trend, as people from all corners of society - from missionaries to schoolchildren - were overtaken by the desire to understand the natural world and identify previously unknown species. Rich with surprising stories of discovery and adventure, The Species Seekers gives us a new window on an era when humankind gained a new appreciation for nature and the pantheon of species with which we share this planet.

Humboldt s Cosmos

Author: Gerard Helferich
Publisher: Tantor eBooks
ISBN: 1618030108
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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From 1799 to 1804, German naturalist and adventurer Alexander von Humboldt conducted the first extensive scientific exploration of Latin America. At the completion of his arduous 6,000-mile journey, he was feted by Thomas Jefferson, presented to Napoleon and, after the publication of his findings, hailed as the greatest scientific genius of his age. Humboldt’s Cosmos tells the story of this extraordinary man who was equal parts Einstein and Livingstone, and of the adventure that defined his life. Gerard Helferich vividly recounts Humboldt’s expedition through the Amazon, over the Andes, and across Mexico and Cuba, highlighting his paradigm-changing discoveries along the way. During the course of the expedition, Humboldt cataloged more than 60,000 plants, set an altitude record climbing the volcano Chimborazo, and introduced millions of Europeans and Americans to the great cultures of the Inca and the Aztecs. In the process, he also revolutionized geology and laid the groundwork for modern sciences such as climatology, oceanography, and geography. His contributions would profoundly influence future greats such as Charles Darwin and shape the course of science for centuries to come. Humboldt’s Cosmos is a dramatic tribute to one of history’s most audacious adventurers, who, as Stephen Jay Gould noted, "may well have been the world’s most famous and influential intellectual."

Alexander Von Humboldt and the Botanical Exploration of the Americas

Author: H. Walter Lack
Publisher: Prestel Pub
ISBN: 9783791341422
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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When Alexander von Humboldt published the results of the expedition he had undertaken to Latin America between 1799 and 1804 he devoted more pages and plates to botany than to all of the other sciences combined. This research was the joint effort of three outstanding figures: Alexander von Humboldt, Aimé Bonpland and Carl Sigismund Kunth, whose names will forever be associated with botanical exploration. This book considers the scale of the contribution Humboldt, Bonpland and Kunth made to recording the diversity of the plant kingdom and forges links between the published account and the corresponding source material. A selection of eighty-two plates illustrates the diversity and beauty of the plants that the botanists discovered and studied in tropicalAmerica.

Humboldt On Language

Author: Michael Losonsky
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521667722
Format: PDF, ePub
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Wilhelm von Humboldt's classic study of human language was first published in 1836, as a general introduction to his three-volume treatise on the Kawi language of Java. It is the final statement of his lifelong study of the nature of language, exploring its universal structures and its relation to mind and culture. Empirically wide-ranging - Humboldt goes far beyond the Indo-European family of languages - it remains one of the most interesting and important attempts to draw philosophical conclusions from comparative linguistics. This 1999 volume presents a translation by Peter Heath, together with an introduction by Michael Losonsky that places Humboldt's work in its historical context and discusses its relevance to contemporary work in philosophy, linguistics, cognitive science, and psychology.

A Life in Shadow

Author: Stephen Bell
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 9780804774277
Format: PDF, ePub
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French naturalist and medical doctor Aimé Bonpland (1773–1858) was one of the most important scientific explorers of South America in the early nineteenth century. From 1799 to 1804, he worked alongside Alexander von Humboldt as the latter carried out his celebrated research in northern South America, but he later returned to conduct his own research farther south. A Life in Shadow accounts for the entire span of Bonpland's remarkable and diverse career in South America—in Argentina, Paraguay (where he was imprisoned for nearly a decade), Uruguay, and southernmost Brazil—based on extensive archival material. The study reconnects Bonpland's divided records in Europe and South America and delves into his studies of rural resources in interior regions of South America, including experimental cultivation techniques. This is a fascinating account of a man—a doctor, farmer, rancher, scientific explorer, and political conspirator—who interacted in many revealing ways with the evolving societies and institutions of South America.

Jaguars and Electric Eels

Author: Alexander von Humboldt
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 0141967145
Format: PDF, Kindle
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A great, innovative and restless thinker, the young Humboldt (1769-1859) went on his epochal journey to the New World during a time of revolutionary ferment across Europe. This part of his matchless narrative of adventure and scientific research focuses on his time in Venezuela - in the Llanos and on the Orinoco River - riding and paddling, restlessly and happily noting the extraordinary things on every hand. Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries – but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.