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Paradise Revealed : Natural History in Nineteenth-century Australia

By: Colin M Finney

The early generations of European visitors to Australia found themselves surrounded by a flora and fauna entirely different from anything they had seen before. For naturalists, this land in which ‘all things were queer and opposite’ was a cornucopia, and from Joseph Banks onwards they avidly collected the novelties that abounded in order to classify and name them according to the principles of order established by Linnaeus or his successors. Short-term visitors carried a...

The second decade of the nineteenth century saw a qualitative change in natural history as practised in the fledgling colonies of New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land. Before the early 1820s natural history was carried out by individuals; men such as David Burton, George Caley or Allan Cunningham, working in isolation.1 All too infrequently the tedium and problems of working alone were broken by the arrival of that hallmark of early nineteenth century science—the globe-...

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To Sail Beyond the Sunset : Natural History in Australia 1699-1829

By: C. M. Finney

To Sail Beyond the Sunset: Natural History in Australia 1699-1829 by Colin M. Finney provides fascinating reading on the development of natural history in Australia beginning with the first incredulous reactions by Dampier to the kangaroo. All of the 100+ color and black and white illustrations included in the book are reproductions of original drawings and paintings of Australian plants and animals as they were first depicted by the early natural history draughtsmen and...

Early on the morning of 1 August 1699, a small vessel, the Roebuck, tacked back and forth over the shoals off the western coast of New Holland awaiting daylight and the sight of land. Having suffered a long journey from Brazil, Captain William Dampier sought a harbour on the coast to replenish his dwindling supplies of water and fresh vegetables for his malnourished crew. Making landfall on that August morning, he was unable to locate a sheltered anchorage and consequent...

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