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Utopias Garden French Natural History from Old Regime to Revolution (Paperback)

Author:  E. C. Spary
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 0226768635
ISBN-13: 9780226768632
Sku: 30648913
Publish Date: 4/16/2007
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 9H x 6L x 0.75T
Pages:  304
Age Range:  NA
See more in Europe / General
 
The royal Parisian botanical garden, the Jardin du Roi, was a jewel in the crown of the French Old Regime, praised by both rulers and scientific practitioners. Yet unlike many such institutions, the Jardin not only survived the French Revolution but by 1800 had become the world's leading public establishment of natural history: the Museum d'Histoire Naturelle.
E. C. Spary traces the scientific, administrative, and political strategies that enabled the foundation of the Museum, arguing that agriculture and animal breeding rank alongside classification and collections in explaining why natural history was important for French rulers. But the Museum's success was also a consequence of its employees' Revolutionary rhetoric: by displaying the natural order, they suggested, the institution could assist in fashioning a self-educating, self-policing Republican people. Natural history was presented as an indispensable source of national prosperity and individual virtue.
Spary's fascinating account opens a new chapter in the history of France, science, and the Enlightenment.
From the Publisher:
The royal Parisian botanical garden, the Jardin du Roi, was a jewel in the crown of the French Old Regime, praised by both rulers and scientific practitioners. Yet unlike many such institutions, the Jardin not only survived the French Revolution but by 1800 had become the world's leading public establishment of natural history: the Muséum d'Histoire Naturelle.

E. C. Spary traces the scientific, administrative, and political strategies that enabled the foundation of the Muséum, arguing that agriculture and animal breeding rank alongside classification and collections in explaining why natural history was important for French rulers. But the Muséum's success was also a consequence of its employees' Revolutionary rhetoric: by displaying the natural order, they suggested, the institution could assist in fashioning a self-educating, self-policing Republican people. Natural history was presented as an indispensable source of national prosperity and individual virtue.

Spary's fascinating account opens a new chapter in the history of France, science, and the Enlightenment.
Annotation:
This history of the Jardin des Plantes in Paris covers the years from its founding in 1626, when it was used to grow medicinal plants for a hospital, to the Revolution, when newly liberated citizens felt free to pick flowers there.

Praise

Times Literary Supplement
"[T]he story told by E. C. Spary is so fascinating that the reader will wish that she had continued her account into the Empire, the Restoration and beyond." - Roger Mettam 06/22/2001

Product Attributes

Product attributeBook Format:   Paperback
Product attributeNumber of Pages:   0304
Product attributePublisher:   University of Chicago Press
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