The Coral Thief
is an epic tale of change, love, and science
set against the backdrop of post-Revolutionary France. Napoleon has just been
deposed, and France is wrestling with an identity crisis. Will the values of
the revolution - independence, freedom, brotherhood - take pre-eminence, or
will the country revert to its monarchial tradition? Alongside these philosophical
and political debates, similar ones are being waged in the realm of science.
Are species static, non-changing, much like the centuries-old tradition of kingship,
or do animals change to adapt to their environments, similar to the idealistic
revolutionaries? Wide-eyed and anxious to learn, Daniel Connor travels from
staid Edinburgh to the hotbed of Paris, the center of the political, philosophical,
and scientific debates that will effect change across Europe. In his purse...
Beyond the Book
The Jardin des Plantes and the Changing Landscapes of Botanical Gardens
des Plantes in Paris was the epicenter of naturalist research in the early 1800s and is currently one of the world's foremost botanical gardens. Built in 1626,
it was planted in 1635 as a medicinal herb garden for the King of France. It
was opened to the public in 1640, greatly expanded under superintendent G.L.L
Buffon, and eventually developed into a center of scientific study. Georges
Cuvier, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck, the Jussieu brothers, and other prominent scientists
of the time were all associated with the Jardin des Plantes and...