Paper, 185 pp., $17.95
Focusing on the career of James Hector, a pioneer New Zealand scientist, the editors have gathered a collection of essays by distinguished experts and historians as well as biographical records from Hector’s family. Born in Edinburgh, Hector studied medicine as training for the natural sciences, becoming an “outstanding student” in botany and geology. His career began with his appointment to an expedition that surveyed the Canadian wilderness. His leadership qualities were quickly recognized on this venture. In 1862, when he was 28, he was selected to conduct a geological survey in New Zealand. This was the beginning of his long and illustrious career in the scientific study of diverse disciplines, earning for him the greatest respect of his fellow countrymen and prominence as the foremost scientific authority in New Zealand.
— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden