Linnaeus: Nature and Nation by Lisbet KoernerLinnaeus: Nature and Nation by Lisbet Koerner

Linnaeus: Nature and Nation

byLisbet Koerner

Paperback | April 16, 2001

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Drawing on letters, poems, notebooks, and secret diaries, Lisbet Koerner tells the moving story of one of the most famous naturalists who ever lived, the Swedish-born botanist and systematizer, Carl Linnaeus. The first scholarly biography of this great Enlightenment scientist in almost one hundred years, Linnaeus also recounts for the first time Linnaeus' grand and bizarre economic projects: to "teach" tea, saffron, and rice to grow on the Arctic tundra and to domesticate buffaloes, guinea pigs, and elks as Swedish farm animals.

Linnaeus hoped to reproduce the economy of empire and colony within the borders of his family home by growing cash crops in Northern Europe. Koerner shows us the often surprising ways he embarked on this project. Her narrative goes against the grain of Linnaean scholarship old and new by analyzing not how modern Linnaeus was, but how he understood science in his time. At the same time, his attempts to organize a state economy according to principles of science prefigured an idea that has become one of the defining features of modernity. Meticulously researched, and based on archival data, Linnaeus will be of compelling interest to historians of the Enlightenment, historians of economics, and historians of science. But this engaging, often funny, and sometimes tragic portrait of a great man will be valued by general readers as well.

Lisbet Koerner is an associate of the Department of the History of Science, Harvard University.
Title:Linnaeus: Nature and NationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:320 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 0 inPublished:April 16, 2001Publisher:HarvardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0674005651

ISBN - 13:9780674005655

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Table of Contents

Introduction. "To Apply Nature to Economics and Vice Versa"

"A Geography of Nature": Natural Philosophy

"A Clapper into a Bell": Floral Names

"The Lapp Is Our Teacher": Medicine and Ethnography

"God's Endless Larder": Theology

"A New WorldPepper, Ginger, Cardamon": Economic Theory

"Should Coconuts Chance to Come into My Hands": Acclimatization Experiments

"The Lord of All of Sweden's Clams": A Local Life

"His Farmers Dressed in Mourning": The Fate of Linnaeus' Ideas in Sweden

Conclusion. "Without Science Our Herrings Would Still Be Caught by Foreigners": A Local Modernity

Appendix: Chronology of Linnaeus and Linnaeana

Appendix: Biographical References



Works Cited



Editorial Reviews

In an extraordinarily thorough research of Linnaeus's Swedish and Latin publications, manuscript correspondence, diaries, and lecture notes, Lisbet Koerner relates the quest for natural knowledge to the ultimate goals of nation-building and eighteenth-century cameralist economicsStudents of Linnaeus will find this book indispensable, with flashes of brilliant insight.