Sex, Botany & Empire, The Story of Carl Linnaeus and Joseph Banks; Patricia Fara
When the imperial explorer James Cook returned from his first voyage to Australia, scandal writers mercilessly satirised the amorous exploits of his botanist Joseph Banks, whose trousers were reportedly stolen while he was inside the tent of Queen Oberea of Tahiti. Was the pursuit of scientific truth really what drove Enlightenment science?
In Sweden and Britain, both imperial powers, Banks and Carl Linneaus ruled over their own small scientific empires, promoting botanical exploration to justify the exploitation of territories, peoples and natural resources. Regarding native peoples with disdain, these two scientific emperors portrayed the Arctic North and the Pacific Ocean as uncorrupted Edens, free from the shackles of Western sexual mores
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