Joseph Banks: A Life

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Dec 8, 1997 - Biography & Autobiography - 328 pages
6 Reviews
One of our greatest writers about the sea has written an engrossing story of one of history's most legendary maritime explorers. Patrick O'Brian's biography of naturalist, explorer and co-founder of Australia, Joseph Banks, is narrative history at its finest. Published to rave reviews, it reveals Banks to be a man of enduring importance, and establishes itself as a classic of exploration.

"It is in his description of that arduous three-year voyage [on the ship Endeavor] that Mr. O'Brian is at his most brilliant. . . . He makes us understand what life within this wooden world was like, with its 94 male souls, two dogs, a cat and a goat."—Linda Colley, New York Times

"An absorbing, finely written overview, meant for the general reader, of a major figure in the history of natural science."—Frank Stewart, Los Angeles Times

"[This book is] the definitive biography of an extraordinary subject."—Robert Taylor, Boston Globe

"His skill at narrative and his extensive knowledge of the maritime history . . . give him a definite leg up in telling this . . . story."—Tom Clark, San Francisco Chronicle
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Bowerbirds-Library - LibraryThing

Patrick O'Brien has a certain idiosyncratic manner in writing his biography of Joseph Banks and the book is all the more enjoyable and reading for this. The early years of Bank's life (travels with ... Read full review

Review: Joseph Banks: A Life

User Review  - Barry Wightman - Goodreads

I think I've decided that Banks is one of my heroes. Smart, urbane, charming, a polymath, president of the Royal Society, confident...he could've been a 20th century man. And O'Brian is such a great writer, the 18th century comes alive. (A little research going on here...) Read full review

Contents

Preface
9
Origins Education Botany
13
Newfoundland and Labrador
39
The Royal Society Solander the Endeavour Voyage
59
TAHITI AND THE TRANSIT OF VENUS
90
NEW ZEALAND BOTANY BAY THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
104
Home Again Resolution Iceland
142
The Great Florilegium Omai Soho Square
168
HMS Sheep Plant Collectors Bligh and Bounty Revolution in France
219
War New South Walesthe Privy Council
243
Trouble in Sydney and Iceland Declining Healththe End
270
His Will and some Letters
305
Notes
314
Bibliography
318
Index
322
Copyright

President of the Royal Society Marriage the King and Kew Botany Bay
193

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About the author (1997)

Patrick O'Brian is the author of twenty volumes in the highly respected Aubrey/Maturin series of novels.

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