The Science of Describing

The Science of Describing : Natural History in Renaissance Europe

3.85 (14 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


Out of the diverse traditions of medical humanism, classical philology, and natural philosophy, Renaissance naturalists created a new science devoted to discovering and describing plants and animals. In order to distinguish and catalog new plant and animal species, they developed new techniques of observing and recording, created botanical gardens and herbaria, and exchanged correspondence and specimens within an international community. Drawing on published natural histories, manuscript correspondence, garden plans, travelogues, watercolors, and drawings, "The Science of Describing" reconstructs the evolution of this discipline of description through four generations of naturalists.Illustrated with woodcuts, engravings, and photographs, "The Science of Describing" is the first broad interpretation of Renaissance natural history in more than a generation and will appeal widely to an interdisciplinary audience.
show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 431 pages
  • 149.86 x 226.06 x 25.4mm | 521.63g
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • 0226620883
  • 9780226620886
  • 590,396

Review quote

"In this beautifully illustrated, fascinating book, Brian Ogilvie shows how the natural sciences developed in a vigorous and quite different way to the experimentalism of the 'hard' sciences." - Adrian Barnett, New Scientist "Ogilvie shows that history has much to teach us.... [He] has done more than just write about the Renaissance science of describing; he has written the story of how science constantly reinvents itself, seen through the lens of the pre-Linnaeans." - Sandra Knapp, Nature "A book that... breaks with tradition even as it builds on it. Brian Ogilvie argues convincingly that we need to discard, once and for all, the idea that natural history remained largely static from the era of Aristotle until the birth of the modern world." - Jim Endersby, Times Literary Supplement"
show more

About Brian W. Ogilvie

Brian W. Ogilvie is associate professor of history at the University of Massachusetts - Amherst.
show more

Rating details

14 ratings
3.85 out of 5 stars
5 7% (1)
4 71% (10)
3 21% (3)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
Book ratings by Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X