Cover of Watt Alistair Watt: Robert Fortune

Watt Alistair Watt Robert Fortune

A Plant Hunter in the Orient

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Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew

2021

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432

978-1-84246-744-2

1-84246-744-1

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Scottish plant collector Robert Fortune became famous among botanists for working and traveling in China and Japan from 1843 to 1861, a time when China forbade Europeans from traveling beyond the confines of a few coastal treaty ports.This is the first full biography of Fortune, and it uses substantial un-studied materials, detailing his travels, collections, and more, and featuring the first maps ever produced that track his collecting itineraries in China. Alistair Watt, a plant hunter himself, brings Fortune to life, showing us how he traveled in disguise in China, and clearing up some misconceptions about his role as a scout for a possible tea industry in the United States. The result is a rounded portrait of an extraordinary man, his times, and his lasting contribution to horticultural knowledge. 

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