Google full text of our books:


Bright Paradise:
Victorian Scientific Travellers
Peter Raby

Paperback | 1997 | $52.00 | ($31.20) | ISBN: 9780691048437
304 pp. | 6 x 9 | 8 pages of b&w plates, engravings, and maps
Add to Shopping Cart

Reviews | Table of Contents

Whether looking for the sources of the Nile, the Niger, or the Amazon, penetrating the Australian outback, or searching for the Northwest Passage, the Victorians were intrepid explorers, zealously expanding the limits of science and human knowledge. In Bright Paradise, Peter Raby describes brave voyages and gives us vivid and unforgettable portraits of the larger-than-life personalities of Charles Darwin, Alfred Wallace, and Henry Bates, glorious examples of Victorian energy and confidence. He also explores wider issues such as the growth of knowledge and the spread of the empire.

Witty, provocative, and exciting in the breadth of its research, this book charts an important period of scientific advance and transforms it into a compelling narrative.


"A thoroughly interesting, amusingly illustrated, and truly thought-stimulating tale."--John Fowles, Spectator

"Peter Raby's book follows a disparate crew of botanists, scientists, and collectors who tried to order the earthly paradise which unfolded around them. Entrepreneurs they may have been--many were dependent on selling their specimens to finance their trips--but they were also scrupulous and sensitive observers. . . . Raby finds some shimmering personalities. . . . His book is excellent."--Daily Telegraph

"Lucid . . . fast-moving . . . skillful. . . . Bright Paradise is good at conveying the overwhelming energy of the Victorian scientific traveller, but is also poignant in its suggestion that this energy was ultimately directed at its own extinction as a species."--Literary Review

"Well written, fascinating, and with wide appeal. . . . "--Library Journal

"Raby delights in detailing the many hardships these explorers endured--from predatory anacondas to hostile Tibetan tribesman--but never loses sight of their large achievements: the extent to which they changed our views of nature, of the interdependence of species, of indigenous cultures and of how life on earth evolved."--Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review

Table of Contents

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Peter Raby:

Subject Areas:

Paperback: For sale only in the United States, its Territories and Dependencies

For hardcover/paperback orders in United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, and Australia

 Paperback $52.00 | ($31.20) ISBN: 9780691048437

Add to shopping cart
View contents of your shopping cart

Prices subject to change without notice

File created: 11/20/2015

Questions and comments to:
Princeton University Press

fall saleHoliday Sale
New Book E-mails
New In Print
PUP Blog
Princeton APPS
Sample Chapters
Princeton Legacy Library
Exam/Desk Copy
Recent Awards
Princeton Shorts
Freshman Reading
PUP Europe
About Us
Contact Us
PUP Home

Bookmark and Share
Send me emails
about new books in:
History Of Science And Medicine, Philosophy Of Science
Biological Sciences
European History
More Choices