Introduced by Peter Campbell
An inspired biography of the great naturalist and explorer, by the author of the much-loved Aubrey-Maturin novels.
Joseph Banks (1743–1820) was a naturalist, an explorer, President of the Royal Society and ultimately one of the most influential figures of the 18th century. As a young man he accompanied Captain Cook on his first great voyage of discovery to the South Seas, New Zealand and Australia. Returning with thousands of specimens of plants and animals, accounts of native peoples, and drawings and charts of a previously unknown continent, the voyagers transformed Europe's knowledge of almost half the world and made Banks a national hero. For the rest of his life, he played a major role promoting science and discovery in an expanding empire.