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Views of Nature
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About the Author

Stephen T. Jackson is professor emeritus of botany and ecology at the University of Wyoming and the editor of von Humboldt's Essay on the Geography of Plants. He lives in Tucson, AZ. Laura Dassow Walls is the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English at the University of Notre Dame and the author of several books, including The Passage to Cosmos: Alexander von Humboldt and the Shaping of America. She lives in Granger, IN. Mark W. Person is associate academic professional lecturer in German in the Department of Modern and Classical Languages and director of the language lab at the University of Wyoming. He lives in Laramie, WY.

Reviews

"Alexander von Humboldt's wide-ranging Views of Nature is a masterpiece of nineteenth-century natural history, at once science and art. Mark W. Person's stunning new translation makes the wonders of this classic accessible to the English-language world of the present."--Daniel Walker Howe "author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning What Hath God Wrought"
"Ever since his celebrated journey of exploration of the Americas, Alexander von Humboldt has been a defining figure of Western scientific culture. Today, his international reputation is enjoying a revival, especially in North America. Now the University of Chicago Press is adding to its list of Humboldtiana a new edition of von Humboldt's most readable book, Views of Nature, skillfully translated from the original German and expertly introduced. It opens up to a twenty-first-century readership the magnificent panorama of tropical American landscapes, the aesthetic pleasure of which connoted--in von Humboldt's view--the underlying harmony of lawlike unity that pervades the cosmos."--Nicolaas Rupke, Washington and Lee University "author of Alexander von Humboldt: A Metabiography"
"It is easy to overlook the work of the translator in reviewing a translation--a fate keenly felt by some of the learned women who slogged away at turning Humboldt's French and German prose into English in the nineteenth century. Person is to be warmly congratulated on a highly readable translation that loses nothing of the complexity of the original. I consider his "Translator's Note" a fundamental part of the translation itself, not only because it reminds us of his essential mediating role in the production of a truly modern rendering of Humboldt's work. The issues that he addresses--sensibility to Humboldt's style and sentence structure, idiosyncrasies and outdated terms in the original--confront us in a very immediate way with the business of transforming one series of ideas and images into a different language, culture, and, in this case, time. As scholars working in Humboldt studies gear up for commemorations in honor of the 250th anniversary of Humboldt's birth in 2019, this new edition of the Ansichten der Natur will prove an invaluable basis for further discussion and research."--John E. Riutta "Isis"
"Long awaited by Humboldtians, this illuminating new edition of Views of Nature--offering not just vivid natural scenes ('views' in the most obvious sense) but also von Humboldt's still-fresh views on the significance of nature and its study--is a gift that transcends disciplines and even history. A book that was deeply relevant and constructively challenging in the age of empire has become even more necessary in the age of climate change. Today, thanks in part to the acutely sensitive translator and editors, von Humboldt's finest one-volume work comes across as a perfect blend of art and science, a paean to interconnection that is both humbling and heartening."--Aaron Sachs, Cornell University "author of The Humboldt Current"

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