An Empire of Plants: People and Plants that Changed the World

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Cassell Illustrated, 2002 - Nature - 192 pages
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For centuries, from foodstuffs to industrial materials, plants have dominated trade between countries. Possession of rare spices, sweets, and narcotics could meand enviable wealth and power, so explorers ventured forth, risking death on unknown seas. Here are stories of seven plants--tobacco, sugar, cotton, tea, poppies, quinine, and rubber--and how Europe's hunger for them led to the Age of Empire and turned world history upside down. Not only did these crops ensure the commercial success of America and Europe, but they became the catalyst foasr piracy, smuggling, addiction, and the slave trade: the darker side of the golden profits. A beautiful presentation of a fascinating subject.

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About the author (2002)

Will Musgrave is an archaeology graduate from the University of Bristol. He is the author of Clifton Through Time; Redland, Cotham & Kingsdown Through Time and South Bristol Through Time, and has co-written two horticultural history books with his brother: The Plant Hunters and An Empire of Plants. He is currently working on Portishead & Around Through Time which is due out in October 2014. Will is a keen historian and amateur photographer, and combines these passions with his love of travel. In his spare time, Will writes for the Clifton & Hotwells Improvement Society and researches for the Friends of the Avon Gorge and Downs. He lives in Bristol where he was born and brought up.

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