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Makers of British botany; A collection of biographies by living botanists edited by F. W. Oliver ... "The sixteen chapters forming the book include (1) the ten lectures, which are printed essentially as they were delivered, (2) six additional chapters specially written under the circumstances just mentioned. As a rule each chapter will be found to deal with a single Botanist; with the exception of the first and last chapters. In the former Prof. Vines has linked together Morison and Ray, the founders of Systematic Botany in this country, whilst in the last Prof. Bayley Balfour has expanded what was originally intended as a sketch of his father, the late Prof. J. Hutton Balfour, into a very interesting account of his precedessors in the Edinburgh chair from the year 1670 almost down to the present time."

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"The literature of Botany can be traced back to a quite respectable antiquity, to the period of Aristotle (B.C. 384—322) who seems to have been the first to write of plants from the truly botanical point of view. Unfortunately, his special treatise on plants—θεωρία περὶ φυτῶν—is lost; and although there are many botanical passages scattered throughout his other writings (which have been collected by Wimmer, Phytologiae Aristotelicae Fragmenta, 1836), yet none of them gives any indication of what his ideas of classification may have been. An echo of them is perhaps to be found in the works of his favourite pupil, Theophrastus Eresius (B.C. 371—286), who among all his fellows was the most successful in pursuing the botanical studies that they had begun under the guidance of the master. Theophrastus left behind him two important, though incomplete, treatises on plants, the oldest that have survived: the more familiar Latin titles of which are De Historia Plantarum and De Causis Plantarum."

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Featured September 2010