The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth

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9780393341324: The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth
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This is the story of the adventurers who risked death to discover strange life forms in the farthest corners of Earth. Beginning with Linnaeus, a colourful band of explorers made it their mission to travel and bring back astonishing new life forms. Acclaimed science writer Richard Conniff brings these daredevil "species seekers" to life. Alongside their globe-spanning tales of adventure, he recounts some of the most dramatic shifts in the history of human thought. At the start, everyone accepted that the Earth had been created for our benefit. People weren't sure where vegetable ended and animal began, they couldn't classify species and didn't understand the causes of disease. But all that changed as the species seekers introduced us to the pantheon of life on Earth - and our place within it.

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Review:

"...marvellous book... Manjit Kumar, Financial Times "...a refreshingly original book..." V.S. Ramachandran, Big Reads 2010, New Scientist "...deftly written... will delight and inform..." The Guardian "An enduring story bursting at the seams with intriguing, fantastical and disturbing anecdotes." New Scientist "The Species Seekers still brilliantly evokes that just-before-Darwin era..." BBC Focus "A brilliant history of amateur naturalists' invaluable work." BBC Wildlife "...highlights how new discoveries generate... breakthroughs." Nature "Seldom have so many of their [freelance collectors] travails been recounted in one volume, much less with such narrative skill, poignancy and good humour." TLS "Richard Conniff provides a thoroughly entertaining series of adventure stories..." Richard Fortey, TLS Books of the Year 2011 "Overall the book is an engrossing and intriguing read that's sure to pique the interest of many a budding naturalist or historian in equal measure." Real Travel "...fascinating book..." Wanderlust "A meticulously researched and witty tale of the history of natural history..." Grrl Scientist "...excellent narrative...This thoroughly enjoyable book should be a classic for anyone interested in the history of natural history." --School Science Review

This is a most readable history of naturalists. --The Independent

A swashbuckling swing through the heyday of Victorian natural history... --Irish Times

About the Author:

Richard Conniff is an award-winning magazine writer, a frequent commentator on NPR and a guest columnist for The New York Times. His most recent book is Swimming with Piranhas at Feeding Time (ISBN 978 0 393 30457 2).

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9780393068542: The Species Seekers: Heroes, Fools, and the Mad Pursuit of Life on Earth

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