HomeGroupsTalkZeitgeist
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

In the Heart of the Amazon Forest (Penguin…
Loading...

In the Heart of the Amazon Forest (Penguin Great Journeys)

by Henry Walter Bates

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1003120,775 (3.07)5

None.

None
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
In 1846, the British naturalist Henry Walter Bates and his friend Alfred Wallace launched an expedition to the Amazonian rainforest. Their goal was to collect plant and animal specimens, observe species in their natural habitats, and (according to a letter from Wallace to Bates), to"gather facts towards solving the problem of the origin of species." Bates explored in the Amazon basin for 11 years, and on his return to England, published an account in his 1863 book The Naturalist on the River Amazons. Republished many times over the years, this book stands as a classic of adventure, exploration, and natural history.

As part of their "Great Journeys" series, Penguin Books has published excerpts of Henry Bates' book as the small 107 page paperback In the Heart of the Amazon Forest. The excerpts are presented in three sections: (1) Blow-guns, Turtle Hunting, and Alligators; (2) Toucans, Vampire Bats, Foraging Ants, and Other Creatures; and (3) Departure. The passages in this book offer anecdotal observations on animals, plants, habitats, and indigenous peoples as seen through Bates' eyes. The flyleaf contains a map of the upper Amazon, and although Bates' route is not marked, one can find some of the localities cited in his account.

One goal of the "Great Journeys" excerpts probably is to acquaint readers with the larger works from which they are taken. In this regard, this book may serve its purpose; readers readers are more likely to encounter and read this excerpt than the large 450+ page volume. Nevertheless, I found the presentation of this small book a bit disappointing. Only a brief (two-paragraph) introduction is given to describe who Bates was and what his great work was about. The introduction gets the years of Bates' life wrong (rather than 1825-1892, it inexplicably claims 1850- 1918, which would mean he launched the expedition 4 years before he was born). Likewise, the introduction doesn't describe the expedition in terms of its goals, or scientific impact, nor does mention that the "Mr. Wallace" who accompanied Bates was later to be a co-founder (with Darwin) of the evolutionary principle of natural selection. Perhaps these are picky criticisms, but I think the reader needs a historical context to understand the significance and content of the work. Of course, motivated readers can educate themselves about Bates' expedition and scientific contributions with a little online digging.

In any case, Henry Bates' expedition and writings should be of interest to those who like reading 19th century works on exploration and adventure. A fine review of the entire book is available here at LT: http://www.librarything.com/work/237608/reviews/36084864 Bates' entire book itself is now available online via the Project Gutenberg series, so the ambitious reader need not confine him/her self to the small excerpts chosen in this paperback. ( )
4 vote danielx | Apr 15, 2011 |
Politically incorrect these days, eg killing aimals for his collection, but parts were fascinating, especially when he was describing the activities of turtles and ants. ( )
  lizdoc | Feb 8, 2009 |
One of the most impressive of all Victorian scientists but also a marvelous writer, Bates' (1825-1892) account of his years in the upper reaches of the Amazon is almost too good to be true - a great monument to human inquisitiveness as he battles great hoards of malevolent reptiles and insects in his quest for ever more obscure specimens on ever more narrow and creeper-choked tributaries.
  antimuzak | Feb 20, 2007 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Epigraph
Dedication
First words
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Publisher series
Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English

None

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0141032073, Paperback)

One of the most impressive of all Victorian scientists but also a marvellous writer, Bates' (1825-1892) account of his years in the upper reaches of the Amazon is almost too good to be true - a great monument to human inquisitiveness as he battles great hoards of malevolent reptiles and insects in his quest for ever more obscure specimens on ever more narrow and creeper-choked tributaries.

Great Journeys allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries � but also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. Few reading experiences can begin to match that of engaging with writers who saw astounding things: Great civilisations, walls of ice, violent and implacable jungles, deserts and mountains, multitudes of birds and flowers new to science. Reading these books is to see the world afresh, to rediscover a time when many cultures were quite strange to each other, where legends and stories were treated as facts and in which so much was still to be discovered.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:33 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

'Great Journeys' allows readers to travel both around the planet and back through the centuries and also back into ideas and worlds frightening, ruthless and cruel in different ways from our own. It describes great civilisations, walls of ice, violent jungles, deserts and mountains and multitudes of birds and flowers new to science.… (more)

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
1 avail.
4 wanted

Popular covers

Rating

Average: (3.07)
0.5
1 1
1.5
2 1
2.5 1
3 1
3.5
4 2
4.5
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 117,130,059 books! | Top bar: Always visible