Alfred Russel Wallace in the Amazon : Footsteps in the Forest
Alfred Russel Wallace is justly famous for his discoveries in Southeast Asia, from where he wrote to Charles Darwin outlining his theory of evolution by natural selection. His career as a tropical naturalist, however, began in the Amazon. Wallace concentrated his collecting on the Rio Negro and the Rio Vaupes and his collections and observations proved of great value to the scientific community in England. On his return home in 1852 disaster struck. The ship on which he was travelling caught fire and all his precious collections were destroyed. As he fled the ship he managed to salvage a small tin box with a few delicate pencil drawings. Wallace's Amazonian adventure is told here, using mainly his own words and illustrated with these delicate drawings. He went on to become one of the defining figures of Victorian biology, and this is the story of his beginning.
- Paperback | 184 pages
- 114 x 164 x 20mm | 180g
- 01 Dec 2013
- The Natural History Museum
- London, United Kingdom
- Revised and reformatted edition
- Black-and-white line drawings throughout
Table of contents
Foreword Preface Origins of the Museum: Sir Hans Sloane and his collection The Museum established: Montagu House A new building: The Bloomsbury development To South Kensington: The great divide The collections: Building the treasurehouse Exhibitions and education: Reaching the audience Research: Unravelling mysteries The digital age: Into the future
"A little book that deserves a big audience. The world needs books like these, books about men too easily forgotten." The Guardian "The story of Wallace's adventures, illustrated by the exquisite, painstaking drawings saved from the flames." New Scientist
About Sandra Knapp
Sandra Knapp is a botanist at the Natural History Museum in London, who has written numerous books and scientific papers. She has spent many years collecting plants in tropical Central and South America and is an expert on the plant family Solanaceae, which includes such economically important species as the potato and tomato. Alfred Russel Wallace has always been one of her scientific heroes, and her personal discovery of his drawings in the Museum's Library prompted her to write this book.