The Great Naturalists

The Great Naturalists by Robert Huxley (Ed). London.  Thames & Hudson.  2007.

Huxley is “head of the botanical collections of London’s Natural History Museum. ”
39 noteworthy naturalists:
from the Greek philosopher Aristotle to
John James Audubon &
Charles Darwin

Linnaeus, the 18th-century Swedish doctor and naturalist
Joseph Banks, best remembered for his 3-year voyage to the South Seas with Captain James Cook.
Ulisse AIdrovandi, a Renaissance innovator who stressed the need for direct observations and the value of accurate illustrations in natural history books. quotes Publishers Weekly:

The little-known history of natural history-that is, how the first naturalists observed and catalogued their world, how they grappled with unanswered questions, and how the sciences of geology, biology, ecology and paleontology developed over three centuries-is wonderfully illuminated in this volume from the Natural History Museum of London’s Huxley. Examining 39 naturalists, Huxley assigns each subject-from ancient Greece’s Aristotle to America’s first botanist, Asa Gray-his or her own biographer (many also from London’s Natural History Museum), who provide a brief but detailed life story and a summation of scientific contributions. While some subjects are well-known-John James Audubon, Alexander von Humboldt and Charles Darwin among them-many will be unfamiliar: John Ray, labeled the “English Aristotle,” first defined the concept of “species”; Antony van Leeuwenhoek discovered micro-organisms (using Robert Hooke’s microscope); and Mary Anning, born to destitution in Regency England, sparked a revolution in scientific thought with her fossil excavations.


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