Shores of Knowledge
Publication Date: 2013-10-14
When Columbus first returned to Europe from the Caribbean, he presented King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella with exotic parrots, tropical flowers, and bits of gold. The search for riches spurred Columbus and other voyagers to ply the oceans with similar ambitions. These seafarers continued to return with specimens of mysterious plants and animals encountered in the New World. Curiosity began to percolate through Europe. The Church, long fearful of challenges to its authority, could no longer suppress the mantra "Dare to know!" Recounting the triumphs and mishaps of these explorers, including Magellan's murder during the first circumnavigation of the globe, eminent historian Joyce Appleby tells of the often fraught meetings of Europeans with native populations. Her book follows the naturalists, both famous and obscure, whose investigations of the world's fauna and flora fueled the rise of science and technology that propelled western Europe toward modernity.