Georg Forster: Voyager, Naturalist, Revolutionary by Jürgen Goldstein
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Overview: Georg Forster (1754-94) was in many ways self-taught and rarely had two cents to rub together, but he became one of the most dynamic figures of the Enlightenment: a brilliant writer, naturalist, explorer, illustrator, translator-and a revolutionary. Granted the extraordinary opportunity to sail around the world as part of Captain James Cook’s fabled crew, Forster touched icebergs, walked the beaches of Tahiti, visited far-flung foreign nations, lived with purported cannibals, and crossed oceans and the equator. Forster recounted the journey in his 1777 book A Voyage Round the World, a work of travel and science that not only established Forster as one of the most accomplished stylists of the time-and led some to credit him as the inventor of the literary travel narrative-but also influenced other German trailblazers of scientific and literary writing, most notably Alexander von Humboldt. A superb essayist, Forster made lasting contributions to our scientific-and especially botanical and ornithological-knowledge of the South Seas.
Genre: Non-Fiction > Biographies & Memoirs