From Aztec accounts of hibernating hummingbirds to contemporary television spectaculars, human encounters with nature have long sparked wonder, curiosity and delight. Written by leading scholars, this richly illustrated volume offers a lively introduction to the history of natural history, from the sixteenth century to the present day. Covering an extraordinary range of topics, from curiosity cabinets and travelling menageries to modern seed banks and radio-tracked wildlife, this volume draws together the work of historians of science, of environment and of art, museum curators and literary scholars. The essays are framed by an introduction charting recent trends in the field and an epilogue outlining the prospects for the future. Accessible to newcomers and established specialists alike, Worlds of Natural History provides a much-needed perspective on current discussions of biodiversity and an enticing overview of an increasingly vital aspect of human history.
Helen Anne Curry is the Peter Lipton Senior Lecturer in History of Modern Science and Technology at the University of Cambridge. Nicholas Jardine is emeritus Professor of History and Philosophy of the Sciences at the University of Cambridge. James A. Secord is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. E. C. Spary is Reader in the History of Modern European Knowledge at the Faculty of History, University of Cambridge.