||This is a collection of the best entries from the diaries of Marianne North, the prolific Victorian botanical artist who, at the age of 40, embarked on a series of travels spurred by her passion for exotic flowers and fauna. Her family had been privileged and well-connected: Charles Darwin advised her to visit Australia and New Guinea for her work, which she did. A fearless traveler, fiercely independent and outspoken, North also traveled to India, Java, Burma, and Japan, as well as many countries in South America and Africa, producing over 800 paintings which today make up their own gallery at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, London. Botanists, artists, travelers, and independent spirits will discover an extraordinary spirit in these pages.
||In 1871, Marianne North, a brilliant artist with a keen interest in botany, set-forth to travel the world on a quest to paint indigenous plants in their natural habitat. Encouraged by her friend Charles Darwin, North travelled by boat, train, mule, foot and palanquin to every continent except Antarctica. She circled the globe twice over fifteen years and accumulated an extensive and valuable collection of more than eight hundred paintings, which today comprise the esteemed Marianne North Gallery at the Royal Botanical Gardens at Kew, London.|North?high-spirited, indefatigable, and brave?also kept detailed journals, which were posthumously published in three volumes in the late 1800s. Abundant Beauty collects the most engaging writings from those journals in one edition, including rich descriptions of botanica and delightful accounts of local people and customs from her sometimes dangerous travels. Abundant Beauty is a fascinating and informative read for botanists, gardeners, historians, and armchair travellers.