The Multifarious Mr. Banks


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About the Author

Dr. Toby Musgrave is a plants and gardens historian, independent scholar, and consultant. He is the author or coauthor of eighteen books, including The Plant Hunters, An Empire of Plants, The Head Gardeners, Paradise Gardens, Heritage Fruits and Vegetables and The Garden.


"Illuminating ... Modern specialists dismiss [Banks] as a jack of all trades, but Musgrave's claim that he changed our world is not an exaggeration."-John Carey, Sunday Times

"Multifarious he [Mr. Banks] was indeed, and Mr. Musgrave treats us to an extensive, admiring account of his subject's circuitous route to fame and power."-Wall Street Journal

"Charismatic Sir Joseph Banks discovered hundreds of new plants, but was much more than just an explorer."-Peter Sheridan, Daily Express

"[An] enthusiastic admiration of its subject and commitment to repairing a calumny-damaged reputation"-Steven Shapin, London Review of Books

"Readers will get a good idea of the range of Banks' scientific and administrative activities in this book, handled with a light touch and tinctured with wit."-Brent Elliott, The Garden

"It is evident that the author knows a great deal about all aspects of Banks' life and about contemporaneous affairs...One is left with a clear, rounded picture of Banks as a person...I have no doubt the author will achieve his aim to return Banks to his rightful place in our history."-Patrick Kaye, Sir Joseph Banks Society Magazine

"Musgrave's book is an engaging picture of how a love of plants can lead to many things, even
'shaping the world'."-Sandra Knapp, Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland

"Sir Joseph Banks was perhaps the greatest scientist of his age and this book is an inspiration to all as we start to re-examine our relationship with nature."-Robin Hanbury-Tenison OBE, author of The Great Explorers

"Combines depth of research with concise exposition of Banks's remarkable career."-John Gascoigne, author of Joseph Banks and the English Enlightenment

"At long last - a book that shines new light on such a key figure in history! From botanical gardens to Botany Bay, Joseph Banks's brilliance radiates throughout this important and highly-readable new biography."-Vanessa Collingridge, author of Captain Cook

"In the inimitable prose of garden historian Toby Musgrave, Banks is brought alive as a key figure in facilitating, among many other things, scientific - particularly botanical - endeavour, as part of the global positioning of Georgian England."-David Mabberly, author of Botanical Revelation

"This well-researched and even-handed biography of Banks confirms his importance as a pioneering scientist, philanthropist and explorer."-Graham Seal, author of The Savage Shore

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