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Notes of a Botanist on the Amazon & Andes - Richard Spruce, Alfred Russel Wallace

1908 - Macmillan and Co., London - First Edition
A superior first edition set of one of the great 19th century travel and botanical works on the Amazon, compiled and with a biography by his friend the great Alfred Russel Wallace, 15 years after Spruce’s death. In publisher’s original cloth, seven maps (four of which are folding), over 70 engraved illustrations, and the wonderful frontispiece portrait of Spruce.

Having previously embarked on a collecting expedition to the Pyrenees, backed by Sir William Hooker and George Bentham, the botanist Richard Spruce (1817–93) travelled in 1849 to South America, where he carried out unprecedented exploration among the diverse flora across the northern part of the continent. After his death, Spruce's writings on fifteen fruitful years of discovery were edited as a labour of love by fellow naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace (1823–1913), whom Spruce had met in Santarém. The work includes many of the author's exquisite illustrations. Showing the determination to reach plants in almost inaccessible areas, Spruce collected hundreds of species, many with medicinal properties, notably the quinine-yielding cinchona tree, as well as the datura and coca plants.
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Price HK$ 15,000