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Table of contents
- New and Recommended - Middle East
- Exploration, Writing, and Publishing with John Murray, 1773-1859
- Bloomsbury - I.B. Tauris
- 101 of the world's most mindblowing adventures to add to your bucket list
New and Recommended - Middle East
The pictorial advertisement for the publisher on the rear wrapper features a picture of the establishment. In good condition with some wear to the spine and extremities. Housed in a custom half morocco and chemise case. Rare and desirable. Octavo, original illustrated cloth, gilt titles and tooling to the spine and front panel, top edge gilt, frontispiece of Old Street, Dijon with tissue guard present. Illustrated by Joseph Pennell. In near fine condition with light rubbing to the crown and foot of the spine. A beautiful example. First edition of this landmark work.
Octavo, original blue cloth with portrait of Henson to the front panel, frontispiece, 3 double-sided leaves of plates. Foreword by Peary and an introduction by Booker T. In fine condition. Rare in this condition. Octavo, original blind stamped cloth with gilt titles to the spine, complete with the lithographic frontispiece portrait of Campbell with tissue guard, and the original lithographic folding map. In very good condition with light rubbing. Scarce and desirable in the original cloth. Octavo, four volumes, bound in full contemporary calf, raised bands, red and green morocco spine labels, gilt titles.
In good condition. Octavo, original cloth, pictorial endpapers. Signed by Eric Newby on the title page. Near fine in a very good dust jacket with light rubbing and wear.
Although not marked this copy is from the library of travel collector, Mary Anna Marten, who was the daughter of the 3rd and last Lord Alington of Crichel and later trustee of The British Museum. First edition of this work by Muir. Octavo, original green cloth, color pictorial cover label, lettered in white, top edge gilt. Illustrated with several plates from photographs, including a frontispiece portrait with tissue guard; map. In near fine condition with light rubbing. An exceptional example.
Octavo, original cloth. The Broken Road, which was published posthumously is signed by editors Colin Thubron and Artemis Cooper on the title page. Jacket artwork by John Craxton. Near fine in excellent dust jackets. Octavo, original half cloth. Signed by Patrick Leigh Fermor on the title page. Humboldt's drive served as an inspiration for Goethe.
In , Humboldt returned to Jena for three months.
During this time, Goethe moved from his residence in Weimar to reside in Jena. Together, Humboldt and Goethe attended university lectures on anatomy and conducted their own experiments. One experiment involved hooking up a frog leg to various metals. They found no effect until the moisture of Humboldt's breath triggered a reaction that caused the frog leg to leap off the table. Humboldt described this as one of his favorite experiments because it was as if he were "breathing life into" the leg. During this visit, a thunderstorm killed a farmer and his wife.
Humboldt obtained their corpses and analyzed them in the anatomy tower of the university. In , Humboldt was admitted to the famous group of intellectuals and cultural leaders of Weimar Classicism. Goethe and Schiller were the key figures at the time. Humboldt contributed 7 June to Schiller's new periodical, Die Horen , a philosophical allegory entitled Die Lebenskraft, oder der rhodische Genius.
In and , Humboldt was in Vienna ; in he made a geological and botanical tour through Switzerland and Italy. Although this service to the state was regarded by him as only an apprenticeship to the service of science, he fulfilled its duties with such conspicuous ability that not only did he rise rapidly to the highest post in his department, but he was also entrusted with several important diplomatic missions.
Exploration, Writing, and Publishing with John Murray, 1773-1859
The death of his stern mother, on 19 November , after a year's suffering with cancer, set him free. Neither brother attended the funeral. Humboldt was able to spend more time on writing up his research. With the financial resources to finance his scientific travels, he sought a ship on a major expedition. Meantime, he went to Paris, where his brother Wilhelm was now living. Paris was a great center of scientific learning and his brother and sister-in-law Caroline were well connected in those circles.
Louis-Antoine de Bougainville urged Humboldt to accompany him on a major expedition, likely to last five years, but the French revolutionary Directoire placed Nicolas Baudin at the head of it rather than the aging scientific traveler. He had already selected scientific instruments for his voyage. Discouraged, the two left Paris for Marseilles , where they hoped to join Napoleon Bonaparte in Egypt, but North Africans were in revolt against the French invasion in Egypt and French authorities refused permission to travel.
Humboldt and Bonpland eventually found their way to Madrid , where their luck changed spectacularly. In Madrid, Humboldt sought authorization to travel to Spain's realms in the Americas; he was aided in obtaining it by the German representative of Saxony at the royal Bourbon court. Baron Forell had an interest in mineralogy and science endeavors and was inclined to help Humboldt.
The Bourbon Reforms sought to reform administration of the realms and revitalize their economies. For Humboldt "the confluent effect of the Bourbon revolution in government and the Spanish Enlightenment had created ideal conditions for his venture". These were lengthy, state-sponsored enterprises to gather information about plants and animals from the Spanish realms, assess economic possibilities, and provide plants and seeds for the Royal Botanical Garden in Madrid founded When Humboldt requested authorization from the crown to travel to Spanish America, most importantly, with his own financing, it was given positive response.
Spain under the Habsburg monarchy had guarded its realms against foreigner travelers and intruders. The Bourbon monarch was open to Humboldt's proposal.
Bloomsbury - I.B. Tauris
With Humboldt's experience working for the absolutist Prussian monarchy as a government mining official, Humboldt had both the academic training and experience of working well within a bureaucratic structure. Humboldt had not mapped out a specific plan of exploration, so that the change did not upend a fixed itinerary. He later wrote that the diversion to Venezuela made possible his explorations along the Orinoco River to the border of Portuguese Brazil. With the diversion, the Pizarro encountered two large dugout canoes each carrying 18 Guayaqui Indians.
The Pizarro ' s captain accepted the offer of one of them to serve as pilot. Humboldt hired this Indian, named Carlos del Pino, as a guide. Venezuela from the 16th to the 18th centuries was a relative backwater compared to the seats of the Spanish viceroyalties based in New Spain Mexico and Peru, but during the Bourbon reforms, the northern portion of Spanish South America was reorganized administratively, with the establishment of a captaincy-general based at Caracas.
Cacao plantations were the most profitable, as world demand for chocolate rose.
101 of the world's most mindblowing adventures to add to your bucket list
Also described the Guanoco asphalt lake as "The spring of the good priest" " Quelle des guten Priesters ". In February , Humboldt and Bonpland left the coast with the purpose of exploring the course of the Orinoco River and its tributaries. Around 19 March , Humboldt and Bonpland discovered dangerous electric eels , whose shock could kill a man. To catch them, locals suggested they drive wild horses into the river, which brought the eels out from the river mud, and resulted in a violent confrontation of eels and horses, some of which died.
Humboldt and Bonpland captured and dissected some eels, which retained their ability to shock; both received potentially dangerous electric shocks during their investigations. The encounter made Humboldt think more deeply about electricity and magnetism, typical of his ability to extrapolate from an observation to more general principles.
Humboldt laid to rest the persistent myth of Walter Raleigh 's Lake Parime by proposing that the seasonal flooding of the Rupununi savannah had been misidentified as a lake.
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On 24 November , the two friends set sail for Cuba, landing on 19 December,  where they met fellow botanist and plant collector John Fraser. Humboldt, who was already in Cuba, interceded with crown officials in Havana, as well as giving them money and clothing. Fraser obtained permission to remain in Cuba and explore. Humboldt entrusted Fraser with taking two cases of Humboldt and Bonpland's botanical specimens to England when he returned, for eventual conveyance to the German botantist Willdenow in Berlin.
Humboldt is considered to be the "second discoverer of Cuba" due to the scientific and social research he conducted on this Spanish colony. During an initial three-month stay at Havana , his first tasks were to properly survey that city and the nearby towns of Guanabacoa , Regla , and Bejucal. Those three areas were, at the time, the first frontier of sugar production in the island.
During those trips, Humboldt collected statistical information on Cuba's population, production, technology and trade, and with Arango, made suggestions for enhancing them. He predicted that the agricultural and commercial potential of Cuba was huge and could be vastly improved with proper leadership in the future.
On their way back to Europe from Mexico on their way to the United States, Humboldt and Bonpland stopped again in Cuba, leaving from the port of Veracruz and arriving in Cuba on 7 January , staying until 29 April In Cuba, he collected plant material and made extensive notes. After their first stay in Cuba of three months, they returned to the mainland at Cartagena de Indias now in Colombia , a major center of trade in northern South America. Mutis was generous with his time and gave Humboldt access to the huge pictorial record he had compiled since This type of careful recording meant that even if specimens were not available to study at a distance, "because the images traveled, the botanists did not have to".
Humboldt had hopes of connecting with the French sailing expedition of Baudin, now finally underway, so Bonpland and Humboldt hurried to Ecuador. This was a world record at the time, but feet short of the summit. At Callao , the main port for Peru, Humboldt observed the transit of Mercury on 9 November and studied the fertilizing properties of guano , rich in nitrogen, the subsequent introduction of which into Europe was due mainly to his writings.
Humboldt and Bonpland had not intended to go to New Spain, but when they were unable to join a voyage to the Pacific, they left the Ecuadorian port of Guayaquil and headed for Acapulco on Mexico's west coast. Even before Humboldt and Bonpland started on their way to New Spain's capital on Mexico's central plateau, Humboldt realized the captain of the vessel that brought them to Acapulco had reckoned its location incorrectly.
Since Acapulco was the main west-coast port and the terminus of the Asian trade from the Spanish Philippines, having accurate maps of its location was extremely important. Humboldt set up his instruments, surveying the deep-water bay of Acapulco, to determine its longitude. Humboldt and Bonpland landed in Acapulco on 15 February , and from there they went to Taxco , a silver-mining town in modern Guerrero.
In April , he visited Cuernavaca , Morelos.