Cover image for Journeys through paradise : pioneering naturalists in the Southeast
Title:
Journeys through paradise : pioneering naturalists in the Southeast
Author:
Fishman, Gail.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Gainesville : University Press of Florida, [2000]

©2000
Physical Description:
xv, 306 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Contents:
First contact -- Illuminating natural history: Mark Catesby (April 3, 1683-December 23, 1749) -- The Bartram legacy. John Bartram (May 23, 1699-September 1777). William Bartram (April 9, 1739-July 22, 1823) -- The intriguing naturalist: André Michaux (March 7, 1746-November 1802) -- A peculiar liking for insects: John Abbot (June 11, 1751-1840) -- The lovely face of nature: Alexander Wilson (July 6, 1766-August 23, 1813) -- The man who painted birds: John James Audubon (April 26, 1785-January 27, 1851) -- The Garden of Eden: Hardy Bryan Croom (October 8, 1797-October 9, 1837) -- Medicine man: Alvan Wentworth Chapman (September 28, 1809-April 6, 1899) -- Walking in heaven's light: John Muir (April 21, 1838-December 24, 1914) -- A voice for Florida conservation: John Kunkel Small (January 31, 1869-January 21, 1938) -- Saving a swamp. Roland Harper (August 11, 1878-April 30, 1966). Francis Harper (November 17, 1886-November 17, 1972).
ISBN:
9780813018744
Format :
Book

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Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library QH26 .F47 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

"This book is for those inhabited by the same desires that drove the early naturalists afield, who yearn to know wilder territory. We read it voraciously, as if in the understanding of how they loved we might also begin to do so, as if in the reliving of their lives we might recapture some vanishing part of the human psyche that must know wilderness."-- Janisse Ray, author of Ecology of a Cracker Childhood

"Like the naturalists she profiles, Gail Fishman takes us on an odyssey through a time when the extraordinary diversity of the southeastern United States was first being explored and described. . . . Entertaining."-- Steve Gatewood, executive director, Society for Ecological Restoration, Tucson

"Fishman modernizes the men and their explorations by retracing the terrain that they explored, wrote about, drew and painted. The result is an intriguing and appealing lesson in biographical and scientific history and a literary reading experience that will appeal to a wide audience."-- William W. Rogers, professor of history emeritus, Florida State University

Following the original steps of pioneering naturalists, Gail Fishman profiles thirteen men who explored North America's southeastern wilderness between 1715 and the 1940s, including John James Audubon, Mark Catesby, John and William Bartram, John Muir, and Alvan Wentworth Chapman. The book is also Fishman's personal travelogue as she experiences the landscape through their eyes and describes the changes that have occurred along the region's trails and streams.

Traveling by horseback, boat, and foot, these naturalists--dedicated to their task and blessed with passion and insatiable curiosity--explored gentle mountains, regal forests, and shadowy swamps. Their interests ran deeper than merely cataloging plants and animals. They identified the continent's foundations and the habits and histories of the flora and fauna of the landscape. Fishman tells us who they were and what compelled them to pursue their work. She evaluates what they accomplished and measures their importance, also pointing out their strengths and failings. And she paints an engaging picture of what America was like at the time.

Fishman combines natural history and American history into a series of portraits that recapture the American Southeast as it was seen by those who first tramped through the wilderness and whose voices from the beginning urged the preservation of wild places.

Gail Fishman, a freelance writer who lives in Tallahassee, has worked for the Florida Defenders of the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Audubon Society. She is a volunteer for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and helped form the St. Marks Refuge Association.


Author Notes

Gail Fishman, a freelance writer who lives in Tallahassee, has worked for the Florida Defenders of the Environment, The Nature Conservancy, and the National Audubon Society. She is a volunteer for the St. Marks National Wildlife Refuge and helped form the St. Marks Refuge Association.


Reviews 1

Choice Review

According to the dictionary, a naturalist is "one who studies nature, especially by observation of animals and plants." The 13 naturalists selected for this book spent many years of their lives in the field, slogging through uncharted regions of today's southeastern US to find, classify, collect, and sketch unknown flora and fauna. Some of them--Mark Catesby, John James Audubon, John and William Bartram, John Muir, and Andre Michaux---are well known to readers while other names may not be as recognizable. Fishman's biographies of these natural scientists blend American and natural history in an enjoyable style, mingling descriptions of her own travels through much of the same territory explored by the naturalists and her observations of the environmental changes caused by civilization. While Journeys will not serve as a single source of information about the lives and work of these naturalists, it will introduce interested readers to the challenges of their fieldwork and their contributions to the knowledge of natural science in this country. Selected bibliography and content list of botanical resources with Web sites. Suitable for academic and public libraries. General readers; undergraduates through faculty. O. L. Paradis Baylor University


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