Visions of Empire: Voyages, Botany, and Representations of Nature
Cambridge University Press
David Philip Miller
Publication Date :
1 Jan 1996
This collection examines the discovery of plants and peoples of the Pacific in the eighteenth century by European scientists and travellers. The contributors reconceptualise the process of discovery, which involved active cultural solutions to problems of representation, rather than mere collection and passive depiction. These solutions both reflected and created visions of empire. Studies of the voyages of Banks and Cook investigate their mobilisation of resources. Other essays examine the economic and theological roots of Linnaeus's natural history, and the importance of the sexual system of classification in ideas of human nature and social order. Visions of Empire also tackles the cultural roots of botanical representations and the interpretations of encounters with other peoples. Its interdisciplinary approach maps out a more sophisticated understanding of representations of nature and society.