London: Ward Lock
cloth, 224 p., $29.95.
Tackling the exploits of Sir Joesph Banks, Francis Masson, David Douglas, Sir Joseph Dalton Hooker, Robert Fortune, The Lobbs, Ernest Wilson, George Forrest and Frank Kingdon-Ward under a single cover is a daunting challenge for anyone. The authors succeed in this remarkable feat thanks to a interesting mix of science, history and fantastic tale. Each section of this book includes plenty of illustrations, and each section ends with a short list of plant introductions attributable to each explorer. Each story seems as improbable as the next, as explorers and their parties survive earthquakes, snowstorms, torrential rains, diseasess and natives to bring back plants from the wild that now grace our everyday lives. With a bibliography, this book is a good place to start learning about these daredevil botanists, ready to risk everything for that one special plant hiding in a valley just over the summit on the horizon.
— Edward J. Valauskas, Manager, Horticultural Resource Center, The School of the Chicago Botanic Garden.