The Botanic Garden by Erasmus Darwin: Volume II, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Botanic Garden by Erasmus Darwin

Volume II, 1st Edition

By Adam Komisaruk


226 pages

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Hardback: 9781138691605
pub: 2017-06-27
eBook (VitalSource) : 9781315534534
pub: 2017-07-06
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The career of Erasmus Darwin (1731-1802) affords an extraordinary glimpse into the intellectual ferment of late-eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century Britain. As a popular poet, practicing physician, inventor of speaking machines and mechanical birds, essayer of natural history from geology to meteorology, and proponent of an evolutionary theory that inspired his famous grandson Charles, he left a lasting impression on almost every branch of knowledge. His magnum opus, and the synthesis of his myriad interests, is The Botanic Garden (1792) — an epic poem that aims to "enlist the Imagination under the banner of Science." Part I, The Economy of Vegetation, sings the praises of British industry as a dance of supernatural creatures while part II, The Loves of the Plants, wittily employs metaphors of human courtship to describe the reproductive cycles of hundreds of flowers. Darwin supplements his accomplished verses with (often much longer) "philosophical notes" that offer his idiosyncratic perspective on the scholarly controversies of the day.

Despite a recent surge of academic interest in Darwin, however, no authoritative critical edition of The Botanic Garden exists, presenting a barrier to further scholarship. This two volume set comprises a complete, meticulously transcribed, reading text — including all the poetry, prose apparatus, and illustrations — along with extensive commentary that situates Darwin within contemporary debates about the natural sciences. This set will be of interest to readers as the definitive reference edition of The Botanic Garden and due to its efforts to make the work more practically and intellectually accessible to seasoned and novice readers alike

This second volume includes the full version of the second part of The Botanic Garden, The Lives of Plants along with the related textual apparatus consisting of the editors’ annotations, discussion of the illustrations, textual notes, and a taxonomic table of the flowers mentioned.

Table of Contents

Volume Two

  1. Reading Text of The Loves of the Plants
  2. A. Canto I

    B. First Interlude

    C. Canto II

    D. Second Interlude

    E. Canto III

    F. Third Interlude

    G. Canto IV

    H. Additional Notes

    I. Back Matter

  3. Apparatus to The Loves of the Plants
    1. Editors’ Annotations
    2. Discussion of Illustrations
    3. Textual Notes
    4. Taxonomic Table to The Loves of the Plants

About the Series

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LITERARY COLLECTIONS / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
LITERARY CRITICISM / Modern / 18th Century
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Nature
LITERARY CRITICISM / Subjects & Themes / Politics
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Botany
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Evolution
SCIENCE / History
SCIENCE / Life Sciences / Taxonomy