- This event has passed.
The Lord Treasurer of Botany
2 December, 2015 @ 5:30 pm - 7:00 pmFree
18:00 Wednesday 2nd December 2015
In 1784, James Edward Smith, an unknown medical student from Norwich, outbid and outwitted the scientific community of Europe in the race to possess the natural history collections of Carl Linnaeus. Using the collections as his calling card, Smith forged a highly successful career in natural history at a time when there were few such opportunities. In addition to founding the Linnean Society of London, Smith became a popular lecturer, a tutor to royalty and a prolific author. Amongst his ground-breaking works were the first illustrated Australian flora and the first illustrated work on American insects, though on more than one occasion his pen embroiled him in sometimes unseemly literary quarrels.
Tom Kennett has spent 5 years working with the Smith collections at the Linnean Society, including cataloguing Smith’s collected correspondence and writing the first modern, full-length biography of Smith. This talk will trace the full breadth of Smith’s life, from his humble beginnings as the son of a Norwich textile merchant, to his becoming one of the most visible and respected botanists of his day.
This meeting is free and open to all; registration is not necessary. Tea and coffee will be served in the Library from 17:30 and a wine reception will follow.
Image (c) The Linnean Society of London