Oxford £9.99 (332pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 0870 079 8897
Flower Hunters, By Mary Gribbin & John Gribbin
Friday 01 May 2009
The assiduous Gribbins have uncovered much splendid detail in this bouquet of 11 floral explorers. Carl Linnaeus was an obsessive organiser who invented plant classification, though this precision did not prevent him from attempting to fiddle his travelling expenses. .
Joseph Banks, who sailed with Cook and took "advantage of the relaxed attitude of the Tahitians to sexual activity", introduced 7,000 species to Britain.
By bringing back seeds of the quinine-producing cinchona tree from South America, Richard Spruce preserved servants of the Empire from malaria and enhanced the pleasure of gin drinkers
By opportunistic local hoping to exhibit the work
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Finnish Postal Service praises the 'self irony and humour' of the drawings
The actor has confessed to his own insecurities
Allotments are the focus of a new reality show
Arts & Ents blogs
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
US Navy christens huge $3 billion destroyer ship USS Zumwalt that appears as a fishing boat on enemy radar
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Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You: Ukip leader ridiculed over expenses and party 'fruitcakes'
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
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