Gardens of Empire: Botanical Institutions of the Victorian British Empire

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Leicester University Press, 1997 - Gardening - 242 pages
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In 1880 the director of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew described a botanic garden as a garden in which a vast assemblage of plants from every accessible part of the Earth's surface is systematically cultivated. By then botanic gardens had existed in Europe for over three and a quarter centuries, had established themselves as an acceptable part of the urban environment, and become the recipients of a flood of vegetation from overseas. By the time of Queen Victoria's death in 1901, botanic gardens were an integral part of empire and four of the greatest of them - those at Calcutta, Pamplemousse on Mauritius, Peradeniya on Ceylon and Trinidad - carried the prefix Royal Botanic Gardens. This book is a thematic history of the imperial network of these gardens which had its informal centre at Kew.

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The growth of the empires gardens
The botanic stations experiment
The running of the imperial network

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About the author (1997)

Donal P. McCracken is dean of the Faculty of Arts and a professor of history at the University of Durban-Westville.

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