A magnificent biography of one of the most amiable and important figures in both the history of botany and the founding of Australia.
Patrick O'Brian's oeuvre includes the magnificent Aubrey and Maturin novels about the British navy during the Napoleonic Wars, a biography of Picasso, and distinguished translations of Simone de Beauvoir, Andre Maurois and Jacques Soustelle. Patrick O'Brian was born in 1914 and spent his later years in France. He died in January 2000.
"O'Brian has done the reading public a service by unwrapping so elegantly and wittily a great man previously known only to specialists and academics. The book is a crackerjack" -- Michael Fathers Independent "An absorbing finely-written overview... of a major figure in the history of natural science" Los Angeles Times "Patrick O'Brian's leisurely and witty biography brings this 'genuine' Englishman fully to life... Banks epitomises the intrepid Englishman abroad... the prototype of the scientist dispassionately investigating all that befell him" London Magazine "O'Brian reveals not only a well-researched understanding of his subject, but also an unabashed liking for him... Certainly any reader of this excellent book will close its final pages with a similar affection for Banks" -- Michael Dirda Smithsonian