Sir Joseph Hooker is remembered as an eminent Victorian botanist and one of Charles Darwin's closest collaborators. Many gardeners and lovers of rhododendrons know of his plant collecting expedition in the Himalayas, but few are aware of his participation in Sir James Clark Ross's epic voyage to Antarctica in 1839-43, of his to Syria and Lebanon in 1860, to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco in 1871, and to the Rockies and California in 1877. At some risk to his own safety and health he discovered many new species of plants introduced a number of attractive flowers into British gardens. Hooker was also an amateur artist who obsessively sketched landscape, flora and, occasionally, people and buildings. Ray Desmond has written a fascinating biography of a remarkable man.
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